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Posted October 29, 2001 | comments Leave a comment

Mail worker remains in hospital

By Craig J. Heimbuch

A 59 year-old Winchester man remains in critical but stable condition at the Winchester Medical Center while suffering from inhalation anthrax.

Hospital spokesman Wes Williams said that the man, who remains unnamed by the hospital, has been in critical but stable condition since his arrival at the medical center Thursday.

"He is in critical but stable condition," Williams said Sunday. "His blood cultures show no growth of bacteria ... which is a good thing."

Williams did not comment on the patient's long-term outlook.

The man is an employee of the U.S. State Department mail facility in Sterling and his exposure to anthrax is presumed to have come from handling contaminated mail.
He is being treated, according to Williams, with three antibiotics, including the now infamous drug Cipro. He is also receiving treatments of penicillin, a standard operating procedure for the hospital.

The man was admitted to the emergency room late Wednesday night, went home, but was then re-admitted Thursday morning after test results suggested inhalation anthrax.
Williams said the hospital will not release the patient's name, adding that the only agency that might would be the man's employer, the U.S. State Department.

The Winchester Medical Center has not yet released the name of the man's doctor.
Williams said Friday that the Winchester Medical Center is prepared to handle anthrax cases, having an ample supply of Cipro and a good medical staff.

Dr. Diane Helentjaris, the Lord Fairfax Health District director, commended the Winchester Medical Center and its staff for prompt and appropriate action. She agreed that the Winchester Medical Center is well-equipped to handle these types of cases.


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