2001 Anthrax Attacks Fast Facts

Here's a look at the 2001 anthrax attacks, also referred to as Amerithrax.Facts about anthrax:...

Posted: Jun 2, 2018 8:03 AM
Updated: Jun 2, 2018 8:03 AM

Here's a look at the 2001 anthrax attacks, also referred to as Amerithrax.

Facts about anthrax:
There are three types of anthrax infection: cutaneous (through the skin), inhalation (through the lungs; the most deadly) and gastrointestinal (through digestion). There has been a fourth type of anthrax identified as injection anthrax. This is common in heroin-injecting users in northern Europe. This has never been reported in the United States.

It can be contracted by handling products from infected animals or by breathing in anthrax spores and by eating undercooked meat from infected animals.

Anthrax has been blamed for several plagues over the ages that killed both humans and livestock. It emerged in World War I as a biological weapon.

The CDC categorizes anthrax as a Category A agent: one that poses the greatest possible threat for a negative impact on public health; one that may spread across a large area or need public awareness and requires planning to protect the public's health.

Amerithrax:
Five people died and 17 people sickened during anthrax attacks in the fall of 2001; outbreak is often referred to as Amerithrax.

Anthrax was sent via anonymous letters to news agencies in Florida and New York and a congressional office building in Washington.

Of the five victims who died of inhalation anthrax, two were postal workers. The other three victims were an elderly woman from rural Connecticut, a Manhattan hospital worker from the Bronx and an employee at a Florida tabloid magazine who may have contracted anthrax through cross-contamination.

The letters were sent to NBC anchor Tom Brokaw, Sen. Majority Leader Tom Daschle, Sen. Patrick Leahy, and the New York Post offices. The letters were postmarked Trenton, New Jersey.

No arrests have been made in the attacks.

The FBI has interviewed more than 9,100 people and issued more than 6,000 subpoenas in the case.

4.8 million masks and 88 million gloves were purchased by the Postal Service for its employees, and 300 postal facilities were tested for anthrax.

Over 32,000 people took antibiotics after possible exposure to anthrax.

Victims:
Stevens, Bob - photo editor at American Media Inc, dies of inhalation anthrax, October 5, 2001

Curseen, Joseph Jr. - DC area postal worker, dies of inhalation anthrax, October 22, 2001

Morris, Thomas Jr. - DC postal worker, dies of inhalation anthrax, October 21, 2001

Nguyen, Kathy - employee at Manhattan hospital, dies of inhalation anthrax, October 31, 2001

Lundgren, Ottilie - Connecticut woman, dies of inhalation anthrax, November 22, 2001

Timeline:
October 5, 2001 - Sun photo editor Bob Stevens dies of inhalation anthrax.

October 12, 2001 - NBC News announces that an employee has contracted anthrax.

October 15, 2001 - A letter postmarked Trenton, New Jersey, opened by an employee of Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle contains white powdery substance later found to be "weapons grade" strain of anthrax spores. More than two dozen people in Daschle's office test positive for anthrax after the envelope is discovered.

October 19, 2001 - An unopened letter tainted with anthrax is found in the offices of the New York Post. One Post employee is confirmed to have a cutaneous infection and a second shows symptoms of the same infection.

October 21, 2001 - DC postal worker Thomas Morris Jr. dies of inhalation anthrax.

October 22, 2001 - DC postal worker Joseph Curseen dies of inhalation anthrax.

October 31, 2001 - Kathy Nguyen, a stockroom worker for the Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital, dies of inhalation anthrax.

November 9, 2001 - The FBI releases a behavioral profile of the suspect, who is probably a male loner and might work in a laboratory.

November 16, 2001 - A letter sent to Senator Patrick Leahy is found to contain anthrax. The letter is among those at the Capitol that has been quarantined. The letter contains at least 23,000 anthrax spores and is postmarked October 9, in Trenton, New Jersey.

November 22, 2001 - Ottilie Lundgren, a 94-year-old Connecticut woman, dies of inhalation anthrax.

January 2002 - FBI agents interview former US Army bioweapons scientist Steven Hatfill as part of the anthrax investigation.

June 2002 - Bioweapons researcher Steven Hatfill is named a "person of interest" by the FBI.

June 25, 2002 - The FBI searches Steven Hatfill's Maryland apartment and Florida storage locker with his consent.

June 27, 2002 - The FBI says it is focusing on 30 biological weapons experts in its probe.

August 1, 2002 - The FBI uses a criminal search warrant to search Steven Hatfill's Maryland apartment and Florida storage locker a second time; anthrax swab tests come back negative.

August 6, 2002 - Attorney General John Ashcroft refers to Hatfill as a "person of interest."

August 11, 2002 - Steven Hatfill holds a press conference declaring his innocence. He holds a second one on August 25, 2002.

September 11, 2002 - The FBI searches Hatfill's former apartment in Maryland for the third time.

August 26, 2003 - Hatfill files a civil lawsuit against Attorney General John Ashcroft, the Justice Department and the FBI claiming his constitutional rights have been violated. The suit alleges violations of Hatfill's Fifth Amendment rights by preventing him from earning a living, violations of his Fifth Amendment rights by retaliating against him after he sought to have his name cleared in the anthrax probe and the disclosure of information from his FBI file. The suit, which names the Justice Department, FBI, Attorney General John Ashcroft and various lower level Justice and FBI officials, asks for a declaration that government officials violated Hatfill's constitutional rights and seeks an injunction against future violations. The suit also seeks an undetermined amount of monetary damages.

July 11, 2004 - The former headquarters of American Media, Inc. in Boca Raton, Florida, where Bob Stevens contracted the anthrax is pumped full of chlorine dioxide gas for decontamination. This was the last building exposed to anthrax in the fall of 2001.

June 27, 2008 - The Justice Department reaches a settlement with former Army scientist Steven Hatfill. The settlement requires the Justice Department to pay Hatfill a one-time payment of $2.825 million and to buy a $3 million annuity that will pay Hatfill $150,000 a year for 20 years. In return, Hatfill drops his lawsuit, and the government admits no wrongdoing.

July 29, 2008 - Bruce Ivins, a former researcher at the Army's bioweapons laboratory at Fort Detrick, Maryland, dies after overdosing during a suicide attempt on July 27.

August 6, 2008 - Judge unseals and releases hundreds of documents in the 2001 FBI Anthrax investigation that detail Ivins' role in the attacks.

August 8, 2008 - The Justice Department formally exonerates Hatfill.

September 25, 2008 - Court releases more documents including e-mails that Bruce Ivins sent to himself.

February 19, 2010 - The Justice Department , FBI and US Postal Inspection Service announce its investigation into the 2001 anthrax mailings is at an end.

March 23, 2011 - A report, entitled The Amerithrax Case, is released through the Research Strategies Network, a non-profit think tank based in Virginia. According to the report, old mental health records suggest Bruce Ivins should have been prevented from holding a job at a US Army research facility in Maryland. The report was requested by the US Department of Justice.

October 9, 2011 - The New York Times reports indicate there are scientists questioning the FBI assertions regarding Bruce Ivins. Possibly Ivins, if he was involved, worked with a partner. Also, the scientists say the presence of tin in the dried anthrax warrants that the investigation be reopened.

November 23, 2011 - The Justice Department settles for $2.5 million with the family of Bob Stevens, the first victim to die in the 2001 anthrax attack. The family originally sued for $50 million in 2003, arguing that the military laboratory should have had tighter security.

December 19, 2014 - The Government Accountability Office releases a 77-page report reviewing the genetic testing used by the FBI during the investigation into the anthrax attacks.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 48201

Reported Deaths: 2693
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11624683
Lake5146242
Elkhart328546
Allen2762129
St. Joseph194366
Cass16389
Hamilton1552101
Hendricks1403100
Johnson1278118
Porter72837
Tippecanoe7158
Madison65864
Clark65144
Bartholomew58544
Howard57557
LaPorte57326
Kosciusko5464
Vanderburgh5226
Marshall4924
Noble47828
Jackson4703
LaGrange4708
Hancock44835
Boone44243
Delaware44250
Shelby42525
Floyd37944
Morgan32931
Grant29426
Monroe29428
Montgomery29420
Clinton2892
Dubois2736
Henry26315
White26310
Decatur25032
Lawrence24425
Dearborn23623
Vigo2348
Warrick21429
Harrison21322
Unassigned193193
Greene18832
Miami1822
Jennings17611
Putnam1698
DeKalb1624
Scott1607
Daviess14317
Wayne1386
Orange13623
Steuben1292
Perry1279
Franklin1248
Jasper1212
Ripley1167
Wabash1122
Carroll1102
Fayette997
Newton9810
Starke933
Whitley925
Huntington812
Gibson802
Randolph794
Jefferson722
Wells721
Fulton701
Jay680
Washington671
Knox640
Pulaski641
Clay604
Rush583
Adams501
Benton480
Owen471
Sullivan441
Brown391
Posey390
Spencer381
Blackford372
Crawford320
Tipton321
Fountain312
Switzerland270
Parke230
Martin220
Ohio170
Vermillion140
Warren141
Union130
Pike110

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 57150

Reported Deaths: 2911
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin10271422
Cuyahoga7724373
Hamilton5924197
Marion273238
Lucas2723302
Pickaway219141
Summit2131206
Montgomery198126
Mahoning1825232
Butler157644
Columbiana130360
Stark1107112
Lorain102167
Trumbull93965
Warren83921
Clark7659
Delaware56815
Fairfield55916
Tuscarawas55210
Belmont54622
Medina51632
Lake49718
Licking47712
Miami46331
Portage44058
Ashtabula43344
Wood42151
Geauga40542
Clermont4006
Wayne36251
Richland3375
Allen31540
Mercer2818
Greene2519
Darke24825
Erie24222
Holmes2313
Huron2152
Madison1958
Ottawa14323
Crawford1355
Sandusky13414
Washington13220
Putnam12815
Ross1243
Hardin12312
Morrow1161
Auglaize1064
Coshocton972
Monroe8917
Jefferson872
Union851
Muskingum831
Hancock781
Hocking788
Preble731
Guernsey703
Lawrence700
Williams702
Clinton680
Shelby684
Logan621
Fulton610
Ashland591
Carroll593
Wyandot586
Athens561
Brown561
Knox511
Defiance503
Fayette460
Highland451
Champaign401
Scioto380
Perry341
Van Wert340
Seneca332
Henry290
Jackson230
Paulding230
Pike230
Adams221
Vinton222
Gallia171
Harrison121
Meigs120
Morgan110
Noble110
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
75° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 75°
Angola
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 68°
Huntington
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 73°
Decatur
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 73°
Van Wert
Clear
73° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 73°
Few Storms Tuesday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events