New York Anthrax Case Not Terror Related, Just Weird

What was he making? His own leather shoes?

NEW YORK — A New York City man has been hospitalized after inhaling anthrax, but officials believe it was accidental and not related to terrorism, NewsChannel 4’s Jonathan Dienst reported Wednesday.

The man traveled in December to Ivory Coast in west Africa and became ill shortly after his return, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. There was no evidence of any criminal intent or terrorist connection, the mayor said.

The man collapsed after performing last week with a dance company, Kotchegna, at the Steadman Theatre in Mansfield, Pa., according to Pennsylvania Department of Health Secretary Dr. Calvin B. Johnson.

On Feb. 17, blood tests were taken and by Feb. 20, the tests began to indicate the possible presence of anthrax.

Bloomberg said the 44-year-old man had worked with the animal hides at a work space in the DUMBO section of Brooklyn. At least four other people may have been exposed to anthrax spores and three are being treated with antibiotics, city Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden said.

“Every indication suggests that this is naturally occurring anthrax,” said Frieden.More at You Big Mouth, You!

Update: Boing, Boing links to a story by Paul Boutin on how easy or hard it would be to manufacture your own anthrax or smallpox, in Biowar for Dummies.

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