According to WBAL
News in Baltimore, more Maryland residents are now taking Cipro after possible
anthrax exposures. But health officials say only two of those Washington County
residents are likely to have come into contact with anthrax spores. Those
two are truck drivers who work for a local company that does business for
the U.S. Post Office.
The truckers are among
those possibly exposed at the Brentwood facility in Washington, DC, where
two postal workers died Monday of inhalation anthrax. Two more Washington
County truckdrivers will be given Cipro when they return home.
The U.S. Postal Service
delivers more than 208 billion pieces of mail per year, with more moving by
truck than ever before. While USPS says it's unlikely that a truckdriver will
personally handle anycontaminated mail, trucking companies large and small
should have a plan in place.
Here are some guidelines
to help you stay safe:
Make sure you (or your
carrier) has a plan in place to handle the situation; before you load. Typical
characteristics include: a powdered substance on the outside, strange odors
or stains, is of unusual weight, has no return address, has an unusual amount
of tape or string, protruding wires, or marked with "Personal" or
"Confidential." If you suspect a bag or packages is contaminated,
don't handle it. Gloves are a good idea.
If you find suspicious
cargo/packages/mail, call the local police and your carrier's safety director.
Make sure that damaged
or suspicious packages are isolated and the immediate area isolated.
Ensure that all persons
who have touched the suspected cargo thoroughly wash their hands and arms
with soap and water.
List all persons who
have touched the package, letter and/or envelope. Include contact information.
Provide the list to the appropriate inspection authorities.
Place all items worn
when in contact with the suspected mail piece/cargo in plastic bags and keep
them wherever you change your clothes and have them available for law enforcement
As soon as practical,
shower with soap and water.
Postal Service Vice
President Deborah Willhite said this week postal workers in Washington, New
York and Trenton, all sites where anthrax-tainted mail was handled, have been
offered masks and gloves of a type recommended by the Center for Disease Control.
The protective coverings will be offered to all 800,000 postal workers by
the end of the week on an ``optional, not mandatory'' basis, Willhite said.
She also said the Postal Service was experimenting with ways to cleanse the
If you have any questions,
contact the Center for Disease Control Emergency Response at (770) 488-7100.
--Land LIne staff