New anthrax case reported in NBC employee in New York

By Larry McShane

Associated Press

NEW YORK An NBC News employee in New York has tested positive for anthrax in tests done after the company received suspicious mail, the network said Friday.

The anthrax was not the inhaled form of the disease, which killed a Florida man a week ago, NBC News said. The female employee instead has a cutaneous skin anthrax infection and is responding well to treatment.

NBC President Andrew Lack the woman works on "Nightly News." She was not identified.

Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said tests would be done at NBC offices in Rockefeller Center. Some areas will be closed, he said.

The network said it had received some suspicious mail and immediately contacted the FBI, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New York Department of Health.

"The mail was tested by these organizations, and the employee was treated by several physicians. All these tests came back negative," NBC said in Friday's statement. "However, this morning, a later test on the employee came back positive for traces of cutaneous anthrax."

The disclosure comes a week after a photo editor for The Sun supermarket tabloid in Boca Raton, Fla., died of the more serious inhaled form of anthrax. The American Media Inc. building where several supermarket tabloids are published was sealed off after anthrax was found on the keyboard of the editor, Bob Stevens, 63.

Traces of anthrax were later found in the mailroom where two other American Media workers, Ernesto Blanco and Stephanie Dailey, both worked, a law enforcement official said Thursday. Both tested positive for exposure to anthrax, but neither developed the disease. Both are taking antibiotics and Dailey has even returned to work.

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