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Anthrax Clean Up at Danbury, Conn. Residence to Resume in Mid- November; Sampling Confirms Shed is Free of Anthrax

Release Date: 10/16/2007
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Danbury, Conn. – Oct. 16, 2007) – The most recent sampling data confirms that anthrax is no longer detected at the work shed of a Danbury, Conn. residence where a drum maker using animal hides made traditional African drums. This most recent data, collected Sept. 28, confirms that earlier clean up efforts at the shed were successful in removing anthrax spores.

Following earlier clean up work, sampling has shown that anthrax spores are still present in the residence, and federal, state and local officials are continuing to develop a detailed clean up strategy to address contamination in the house. The clean up plan for the house will include fumigation to eliminate live anthrax spores.

The clean up work is being led by the U.S. EPA, in coordination with the City of Danbury, the Conn. Dept. of Public Health and the Conn. Dept. of Environmental Protection. The agencies, operating under a Unified Command structure, are also consulting with EPA's National Decontamination Team and the Centers for Disease Control as the clean up plan is developed.

Following the development of a clean up plan, work is anticipated to resume by mid-November. During the coming days and weeks, neighborhood residents may observe EPA personnel or contractors on the property as planning continues for another round of clean up work. EPA and the other involved agencies will keep the community informed about the next phase of clean up operations and any potential road closures or other disruption to the community.

Public health officials confirmed this is not a contagious condition and there is no community public health concern. The naturally-occurring strain of anthrax is thought to derive from animal skins which were used in the construction of traditional African drums.

More information:

- Dedicated EPA Web information on this clean up (epa.gov/region1/er/sites/danbury)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention information on anthrax from animal hides (http://www.bt.cdc.gov/agent/anthrax/faq/pelt.asp)

Contacts:

    David Deegan, (617) 918-1017
    Bill Gerrish, CT DPH (860) 509-7106
    Dennis Schain, CT DEP (860) 424-3110
    Michael McLachlan, Office of Mayor Boughton, (203) 797-4511


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