09.05.07, 07:06 PM #1
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Connecticut Drummer, Relative Contract Anthrax
Officials: Drummer, Relative Contract Anthrax
Neighborhood Cordoned Off During Investigation
DANBURY, Conn. -- Health officials confirmed a second case of contracted anthrax in Connecticut on Wednesday afternoon, hours after the first case was reported.
Officials said the second victim was a member of the same family as the first, a Danbury man who officials said contracted cutaneous anthrax poisoning from African drums.
Health officials said both victims were residents of Padanaram Road, and identified one victim as Ase Amenra Kariamu.
Mayor Mark Boughton told Eyewitness News that authorities have closed off roads around the victim's house, including Pembroke and Padanaram roads.
Marybeth Miklos, a spokeswoman for the FBI's New Haven field office, told the Associated Press that agents were notified of the situation, but that state public health officials were handling the investigation.
"We are aware of it, but as of right now it is not anything terrorism-related," she said.
Boughton said Kariamu is an African drummer and drum maker who stored untanned animal hides obtained from areas of the world where anthrax is known to be common.
Kariamu collapsed after performing with his dance company in Pennsylvania. He was hospitalized for weeks, but survived.
Boughton said Danbury officials were notified about the anthrax a few days ago.
Kariamu started experiencing flu-like symptoms in January after he traveled to Ivory Coast and brought back goat hides to make drums. Health officials believe he may have inhaled anthrax spores while making the instruments.
Kariamu was hospitalized for weeks, but has since been treated and released, according to health officials.
Contracting inhalation anthrax from natural sources is rare. The last U.S. case not linked to terrorism occurred in 1976.
Officials said that they have yet to isolate and positively identify the source of the anthrax at the Danbury home, but said there is no serious threat to public health.
The state Department of Public Health took custody of about a dozen hides that had been stored in a shed on the man's property. State and federal environmental officials will spend the next several days making sure no anthrax spores remain.
The drums were not finished, so officials said anthrax would not have spread beyond the shed where the man worked.
"The only concern we have is that the mass hysteria, the misinformation and the walking wounded will flood the healthcare system," said Dr. Patrick Broderick of Danbury Hospital. "Unless you are handling animal skins … you are not at risk.""Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton
09.06.07, 08:17 AM #2
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I work in a large factory building and right down the hall from us is a company that sells drums right from Africa as well as repairs them. Had me wondering if our building would be quarantined but after reading more about this case I don't see it being an issue here. He usually gets a large freight container in once every 2 months and man there are usually some strange bugs that come out of these containers.I used to jog but the ice cubes kept falling out of my glass.
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