Monday, October 3, 2005

Tinfoil Hat Story of the Day

From the Washington Post:

A week after six bioterrorism sensors detected the presence of a dangerous bacterium on the Mall, health officials said there are no reports that any of the thousands of people in the nation’s capital Sept. 24 have tularemia, the illness that results from exposure to the bacteria.

Federal health officials are still testing the samples from air sensors on the Mall and in downtown Washington that collected a small amount of the tularemia agent, which can cause flulike symptoms and is usually treated with antibiotics.

The bacteria probably was not the result of nefarious activity, according to federal investigators. “There is no known nexus to terror or criminal behavior. We believe this to be environmental,” said Russ Knocke, spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security.

The mission for health officials now is to figure out how the bacteria got there, why they were detected that day and whether they are from a strain that doesn’t affect humans.

“Our purpose now is to reach into the medical community just to make sure nobody out there has any symptoms,” said Von Roebuck, spokesman for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “There is an incubation window of one to six days, but we still want to get this information into clinicians’ hands.”

I’ve been sneezing a lot recently…