Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

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Anthrax found in mail bound for Federal Reserve

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) — A preliminary test of mail delivered to a secure closed mail-handling facility, where Federal Reserve Board mail was examined before being delivered, tested positive for anthrax exposure late Thursday afternoon, a Fed spokeswoman said.

The letter was found in a bin of about 150 letters, said Fed spokeswoman Michelle Smith.

“We had something in that batch that gave us a positive result,” Smith said. “Now we are testing everything.”

In a statement the Fed said board officials notified, and are working with, the FBI. Officials did not identify to whom the letter was addressed.

The mail was handled by three board and three contract employees all wearing protective environmental suits and has been secured within the mail-handling facility, the statement said.

“Further testing will be conducted within this secure facility,” the statement said. Any mail found to be contaminated would be sent to a military facility for analysis by the FBI.

Five people have died and 13 others have been infected by the bacterium that can be used as a germ-warfare agent. Two lethal letters containing anthrax were sent to U.S. senators on Capitol Hill in October, and media organizations in Florida and New York were also targets of anthrax attacks.

The Fed said since the first public reports of anthrax-contaminated mail surfaced, the board has processed all mail through the secure mail-handling facility.

It is not distributed inside the Federal Reserve buildings until it has been cleared.

Smith said the board will be open for business on Friday. But while the investigation is under way, the board has decided to postpone public events for security reasons.

A public board meeting scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday will be rescheduled as soon as possible, Smith said.

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