Sheriff quells anthrax fears

Biological attacks low threat in Moffat County

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By RYAN SHERIDAN
Daily Press writer
War is raging in Afghanistan while America remains vigilante at home, working to thwart any terrorist plots that may still be looming.
One of the most reported threats has been anthrax, and with a handful of cases being discovered in New York City and Florida via the mail, others around the county have become nervous that their area might be next.
Moffat County Sheriff Buddy Grinstead is trying to assure residents that the chances of such an attack are very small.
If there somehow is exposure to anthrax, there are ways to handle the situation.
"There is an extremely small chance that we will have to deal with a situation like that," he said. "We want to educate the public on what anthrax is, and what the state is recommending should anything happen that will put us ahead of the curve."
If someone receives a piece of suspicious mail, they should contact the Sheriff's Office or the Craig Police Department, Grinstead said.
"If, for whatever reason, someone is suspicious about their mail, they should call local law enforcement," he said. "We would be happy to check into it. But, people need to use some judgement."
Grinstead has spoken to the Craig/Fire Rescue Hazardous Materials team, and they are ready to coordinate with any effort concerning an anthrax or other biological agent problem.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the anthrax organism can cause infections in the skin, gastrointestinal system or the lungs it must be rubbed into abraded skin, swallowed or inhaled as a fine aerosol mist.
Disease can be prevented after exposure by early treatment with appropriate antibiotics.
Anthrax is not spread from person to person.
For more information about anthrax or other biological agents, interested individuals should call the Colorado Department of Public and Health and Environment's bio-terrorism hotline at (303)692-2799 or log on to their Web site at www.cdphe.state.co.us.

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