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  #1  
Old January 3rd, 2002, 10:46 AM
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Thumbs down Anthrax scare in Mumbai post office

MUMBAI: The two postal employees who were admitted to Nair hospital on December 31 after handling suspicious mail that arrived at the Cumballa Hill post office are ``fit as fiddle and have shown no worrisome symptoms'', says hospital dean Sharadini Dahanukar.

The authorities are awaiting the report from the Haffkine Institute on the contents of the postal package which is being tested for the presence of anthrax spores.

N.A. Maldar (36) and Gopal Wadkar (48) complained of giddiness and nausea after they handled an envelope containing a plastic packet filled with a brownish powder on December 31.

They were rushed to Nair hospital where Maldar got himself admitted. The other postman was examined and preferred to go home. However, he returned the next day and got himself admitted too, says Dr Dahanukar.

The envelope contained some brown powder in a package as well as a New Year greeting card bearing the picture of Osama Bin Laden. It was addressed to Mr and Mrs P.K. Deshpande, residents of Cumballa Hill, but the name of the addressee was not mentioned on the envelope, an official from the postal department said. The open envelope was first sighted by Ragini Achrekar while sorting mail. She immediately alerted her colleagues Wadkar and Maldar.

The postal employees suspect that they may have inhaled some of the powder when the package fell out of the envelope.

``We were so scared, since there was Bin Laden's photo in the envelope too,'' said Maldar. ``Soon after handling the package, I began feeling nauseous and giddy. The incident occurred in the afternoon, but by 5 p.m., I thought it better to go to a hospital for a checkup.'' He, as well as Mr Wadekar, claimed to be absolutely fine at present.

The Haffkine Institute Director Dr S M Sapatnekar has, however, ruled out accidental inhaling of the powder since he says the package sent to them was sealed.

The institute is likely to have a report ready by Thursday evening.

``We put the powder for culturing on Tuesday. If it contains any anthrax spores, they will show up in the cultures by Thursday evening. If the culture is negative, however, we may have to run it again, to be doubly sure,'' Dr Sapatnekar said.

Although after the initial nausea, the two postal workers have not shown any worrisome clinical symptoms, the hospital plans to keep them on a course of antibiotics, including Ciprofloxacin and Penicillin till the Haffkine Institute is able to rule out the presence of any anthrax spores in the powder, says Dr Dahanukar.

Doctors feel that the initial symptoms were most likely triggered by apprehension and fear.

``You cannot develop symptoms of anthrax so quickly, even if war-grade spores are inhaled,'' says Dr Sapatnekar.

Ever since the anthrax mail began doing the rounds of the country in October, the Haffkine Institute has examined 122 `suspicious' mail packages. None of them tested positive for anthrax. The closest the city came to an actual anthrax scare was when, on November 2, the Thane-based private laboratory Molecular Diagnostic Centre, which ran the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test on a sample of powder from a mail package received by Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal showed the presence of anthrax.

The same sample had tested negative in the culture test conducted by Haffkine. Subsequent tests by the JJ Hospital laboratory as well as the DRDO lab at Gwalior ruled out the presence of anthrax in the specimen. Experts noted that the presence of anthrax in the Thane tests was due to environmental contamination. They pointed out that the PCR test was so sensitive that it picked up even trace elements of a substance.

Haffkine had set up a control room in October to handle the inflow of suspicious packages as well as to guide the public on what to do if they received suspicious mail. The room was officially closed on December 12 after the anthrax scare died down.

Dr Sapatnekar told this newspaper that the only difference between this package and previous ones was that this seemed a more professional job. ``Everything in this particular mail was printed, there were no handwritten scrawls,'' he noted.


http://www.timesofindia.com/articles..._id=2114191251



The picture:
A nurse checks the pulse of two postal workers who were admitted to hospital after opening an envelope containing powder in Mumbai.
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File Type: jpg postal.jpg (14.4 KB, 27 views)
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  #2  
Old January 3rd, 2002, 10:49 AM
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kuch antrax nahi tha yaar....dono dakiye darr gaye

kisi ne keeda kiya tha....
koi guru prankster hoga
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  #3  
Old January 3rd, 2002, 11:59 AM
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Re: Anthrax scare in Mumbai post office

Yaar OBL ka photo dekh ke kisi ko bhi tension a jayega...
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Old January 3rd, 2002, 12:03 PM
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"tension"?
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Old January 3rd, 2002, 12:08 PM
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tension vension kuch nahin yaar..mast paiki kaam se temporary chutkara liya dono ne
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Old January 3rd, 2002, 12:09 PM
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woh saale photu mein mucchad ki nazar kahin aur hi tiki hui hai
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  #7  
Old January 3rd, 2002, 12:13 PM
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Re: Re: Anthrax scare in Mumbai post office

Quote:
Originally posted by echarcha
Yaar OBL ka photo dekh ke kisi ko bhi tension a jayega...
...jaise Usama zindabaad sun ke kuch logo ko tension ho jaata hai....just viking(read kiding)
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Old January 3rd, 2002, 12:19 PM
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Re: Re: Re: Anthrax scare in Mumbai post office

Quote:
Originally posted by Dhurandhar Bhat


...jaise Usama zindabaad sun ke kuch logo ko tension ho jaata hai....just viking(read kiding)
Usama who ? That rat in cave ?
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Old January 3rd, 2002, 12:22 PM
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Anthrax scare in Mumbai post office

Quote:
Originally posted by dirty

Usama who ? That rat in cave ?
..dirty who the cat at the WTC.
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Old January 3rd, 2002, 12:27 PM
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Anthrax scare in Mumbai post office

Quote:
Originally posted by Dhurandhar Bhat

..dirty who the cat at the WTC.
Yup I am a cat but cat always gets the rat
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Old January 3rd, 2002, 12:35 PM
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Anthrax scare in Mumbai post office

Quote:
Originally posted by dirty

Yup I am a cat but cat always gets the rat
hmmmm.. sure
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  #12  
Old January 3rd, 2002, 02:29 PM
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Talking Dhuru to

Pagal hain.. deewana hain... LOL
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Old January 3rd, 2002, 03:42 PM
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Re: Dhuru to

Quote:
Originally posted by echarcha
Pagal hain.. deewana hain... LOL

par meri cat ko to yahi chuha khana hai

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  #14  
Old January 3rd, 2002, 09:07 PM
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COCOA POWDER HOGA.....

well look at that nurse...not wearing even the least protective clothing for (suppose to be) contamination by anthrax spores....dint know we indians r immune to anthrax...
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