Isolated Case of Naturally-Occurring Inhalational Anthrax in a New York City Resident
By CBN Staff, February 22, 2006
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH)  released an alert today regarding a single case of inhalational anthrax in a 44 year old man who makes drums from unprocessed animal hides. On December 21, 2006, the man returned from a 2 week trip to the Ivory Coast, where he purchased animal hides. He last worked with the hides around February 15th.
On February 16th, while traveling to Pennsylvania, the man collapsed while at dinner and was taken to a hospital. He reported chills and rigors, and on examination, oxygen saturation was reportedly normal, and he did not have a fever. CBC was normal, but chest radiograph revealed pleural effusions. Blood cultures grew gram positive rods, and the Pennsylvania LRN PCR test was positive for all primers, indicating B. anthracis. The patient is reportedly clinically stable while receiving antibiotic therapy.
This appears to be an isolated, naturally-occurring event, but public health officials are undertaking an epidemiologic investigation on others who might have been exposed to the contaminated animal hides to determine whether post-exposure antimicrobial prophylaxis is warranted.
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