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Two New Anthrax Cases Found: CBS Employee Diagnosed

An employee in the office of CBS News anchor Dan Rather tested positive for the skin form of anthrax, the network said Thursday.

Also Thursday, at the New Jersey postal facility that handled contaminated letters sent to NBC and Senator Tom Daschle, one worker was diagnosed with anthrax and another tested positive for exposure to the disease.

The CBS employee experienced swelling in her face October 1 and reported her symptoms to health officials.

She was diagnosed with cutaneous anthrax, which is less serious than the pulmonary form of the disease, and is expected to make a full recovery.

It was not immediately known how she became infected, but she handled mail. Unlike previous cases where authorities identified actual letters contaminated with anthrax, so far no letter has been discovered here.

"The pattern here appears to be essentially identical to the pattern in other two news organizations and, by all intents and purposes, happened sometime in late September," says Dr. Steven Ostroff of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

New York Health Commissioner Neal Cohen says the employee was exposed to "what we presume to be some form of granules of anthrax that was delivered in an envelope. We are not certain of that, but it makes sense, given the nature of the work that she does," Cohen says. "There are no public health concerns in the building or the floor that she works."

Mayor Rudolph Giuliani says there was no sign of anyone else at CBS with symptoms.

Who's behind the attacks? Former FBI agent Rick Smith, now a security consultant for Cannon Street, Inc., says the person or persons behind the attacks knew more about how to make the public scared than about how to make them sick.

"If you had the ability to contaminate a million people, you'd do it. If you don't have that ability … you would send letters to Congress and the media to get the most reaction, the most bang for your buck," says Smith.

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