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After a Shower of Anthrax, an Illness and a Mystery
New York Times ^ | 6/6/05 | Scott Shane

Posted on 06/06/2005 8:26:38 PM PDT by TrebleRebel

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - During the anthrax mail attacks in 2001, Bill Paliscak, a gung-ho, hockey-playing postal investigator who had missed 3 days of work in 11 years, removed a filthy filter above a mail-sorting machine to preserve it as evidence. Anthrax-laden dust showered down on him.

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David Scull for The New York Times Bill Paliscak cannot live at his home until an elevator is installed.

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Agence France-Presse Workers in October 2001 cleaned the Brentwood postal facility in Washington, where employees like Mr. Paliscak were exposed to anthrax. Four days later he began to feel feverish. Soon he was in intensive care. After spending the next three years in and out of the hospital, Mr. Paliscak, 41, now needs a wheelchair to move about, sleeps with a breathing device to get enough oxygen and takes dozens of pills a day.

-------------------------- After consulting with dozens of specialists across the country, his doctors at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore remain convinced that his anthrax exposure produced his disease, in part because exhaustive testing found no other cause. They believe his experience may hold scientific lessons about anthrax, which experts consider the likeliest weapon in future bioterrorist attacks.

---------------------------

Anthrax experts asked about Mr. Paliscak's illness had varying views. Dr. Brachman, of Emory University, said he would not rule out anthrax as a cause, despite the test findings. Dr. Ken Alibek, a former Soviet bioweapons expert now at George Mason University, was more skeptical. "You cannot make the diagnosis without laboratory confirmation," Dr. Alibek said.

Both wondered whether Mr. Paliscak's illness might be a devastating reaction to some other substance on the filter, such as yeast or mold spores. But Mr. Paliscak's doctors said they could find no evidence for that possibility

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Anthrax Scare; Culture/Society; Extended News; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: alibeck; anthrax; billpaliscak; bioweapons; brachman; drbrachman; drkenalibek; emoryu; emoryuniversity; georgemason; georgemasonu; health; kenalibeck; medicine; paliscak; postalfacility; postoffice; williampaliscak; wmd
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Sure Ken - it was just mould that made him sick 4 days after being exposed to non-weaponized anthrax powder.
1 posted on 06/06/2005 8:26:45 PM PDT by TrebleRebel
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To: TrebleRebel

What ever became of that scientist they were suspecting of being behind that antrhax attack?


2 posted on 06/06/2005 8:35:10 PM PDT by phoenix0468 (http://www.mylocalforum.com -- Go Speak Your Mind.)
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To: TrebleRebel

I've often wondered about the general safety of buildings where the only source of "fresh" air is through ventilation systems. Think about it, then try to open a window.


3 posted on 06/06/2005 8:36:18 PM PDT by sageb1
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To: phoenix0468

You mean Steven Hatfill? He sued the FBI 2 years ago and the FBI spent the next 2 years trying to get the suit dismissed. They failed and now it looks like the suit is going ahead.


4 posted on 06/06/2005 8:38:53 PM PDT by TrebleRebel
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To: Battle Axe; Mitchell; Shermy; jpl; genefromjersey; Peach; allen

ping


5 posted on 06/06/2005 8:42:14 PM PDT by TrebleRebel
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To: neverdem

Fascinating case -- virtually certain it was anthrax, yet blood tests didn't detect anthrax.

Could it be that our tests are not sensitive enough, and anthrax can cause serious illness in quantities so small we can't detect them?


6 posted on 06/06/2005 9:07:22 PM PDT by FairOpinion
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To: TrebleRebel

Do you remember that old woman in some state where there was no anthrax detected anywhere, yet she died of it?

They went through her mail, etc., couldn't find it.

And wasn't there another case in NY, where they couldn't find where someone got it from?

It sure sounds like we can't detect it in really small quantities.

Also -- how many others may have gotten ill and even died, without it being attributed to anthrax?


7 posted on 06/06/2005 9:09:30 PM PDT by FairOpinion
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To: TrebleRebel

I feel hurt. You didn't ping me to this. I had to find it all by myself. ;)


8 posted on 06/06/2005 9:13:58 PM PDT by FairOpinion
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To: FairOpinion
Well here's a thought. Maybe it was a form of anthrax that hadn't been seen before. Maybe we've or "they've" developed an "anthrax" that takes the toxic part of the bacteria and puts it on another bacteria or has somehow altered the surface of the anthrax in order to change the type of antibodies you develop when infected.

Therefore the immune response you develop wouldn't be to a "known" anthrax or sub type but to another bacteria altogether. Since the anthrax antibodies are different than those you screen for, your test will be negative.

If the correct culture media wasn't used to screen the patients or if the serology tests weren't placed in the correct tubes for storage, transfer, or analysis then the tests would be "negative" but the patient will still have the disease.

The key is if the patient gets "better" or doesn't die if the appropriate antibiotics( doxycyline, penicillin, ciprofloxin) are started.

Even if you live, inhaled anthrax is a mother and may result in permanent lung and heart damage due to the lung problems and even if treated has anywhere from 45-75% mortality rate.

9 posted on 06/06/2005 9:30:12 PM PDT by Dick Vomer (liberals suck......... but it depends on what your definition of the word "suck" is.)
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To: FairOpinion
Could it be that our tests are not sensitive enough, and anthrax can cause serious illness in quantities so small we can't detect them?

It shows how much we don't know.

10 posted on 06/06/2005 9:45:08 PM PDT by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: El Gato; JudyB1938; Ernest_at_the_Beach; Robert A. Cook, PE; lepton; LadyDoc; jb6; tiamat; PGalt; ..

FReepmail me if you want on or off my health and science ping list.


11 posted on 06/06/2005 9:46:59 PM PDT by neverdem (May you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows that you're dead.)
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To: Dick Vomer

Interesting possibilities.

I wonder how much antibiotics they were giving him.

It's possible, that after their tests were negative they stopped the antibiotics -- I wouldn't put it past the doctors.


12 posted on 06/06/2005 10:03:55 PM PDT by FairOpinion
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To: TrebleRebel

Well anyway they apparently treated him better than the victims of the DoD mandatory anthrax shots debacle. We had a guy featured in the Memphis local paper-- used to be the base Fire Chief-- he's in a wheelchair and has been deteriorating in health since his anthrax shots back in '99. Now he can move his left eye and that's it.

Of course they don't know what caused it or the other health problems associated with many other members of his unit-- they just know it's not the anthrax shots.


13 posted on 06/06/2005 10:21:52 PM PDT by zipper ("The fear of God makes heroes, the fear of man makes cowards."-- Sgt Alvin C. York)
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Comment #14 Removed by Moderator

To: Calpernia; Velveeta; DAVEY CROCKETT; MamaDearest; lacylu; WestCoastGal; Pepper777; Tuba Guy; ...

Ping to #14


15 posted on 06/07/2005 4:37:13 AM PDT by nw_arizona_granny (My prayer of thanks is for all the Freepers who make my days so interesting,educational and loving.)
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To: muawiyah

ping


16 posted on 06/07/2005 5:08:55 AM PDT by piasa (Attitude Adjustments Offered Here Free of Charge)
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To: TrebleRebel

Good research thread for reference

http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a3c0301d41783.htm
Freeper Research on Anthrax Profile 11/26/01


17 posted on 06/07/2005 5:57:37 AM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: Battle Axe; neverdem

good info.


18 posted on 06/07/2005 5:58:36 AM PDT by bitt ("There are troubling signs Bush doesn't care about winning a third term." (JH2))
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To: TrebleRebel

Please add me to your ping list for Anthrax?

Or is the ping list for FBI ineptitude or Gommint agency stupidity?

No matter. Please add me.


19 posted on 06/07/2005 9:15:45 AM PDT by TruthNtegrity (Just because it's not in the bloodstream doesn't mean it wasn't Anthrax.)
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To: TruthNtegrity

You're on the list. Below is another UPI story just out. Anthrax covers a broad range - including FBI ineptitude and gubbmint agency CYA.

Clearly the CDC do want to admit this man was made ill with anthrax since they sent him into the building with only a papermask for protection.



http://news.webindia123.com/news/showdetails.asp?id=86476&cat=Science

Inspector may be fifth anthrax victim:-
ANNAPOLIS, Md. | June 07, 2005 7:11:27 PM IST



An inspector looking into Washington's anthrax attacks contracted anthrax-like poisoning symptoms, but officials refuse to list him among those attacked.

Two people were killed and two others were sickened in the fall of 2001 because of anthrax traced to letters to two U.S. senators. Postal Inspector Bill Paliscak removed the filter above the machine that sorted the letters near where the two dead men had worked, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

The dust that drifted down contained anthrax spores. Four days later Paliscak became ill with anthrax-like symptoms. He's been in and out of the hospital since, the Times said, and his medical bills total more than $800,000. But he's not considered a victim of the anthrax attack because blood tests never showed anthrax-related bacteria and antibodies.

Medical officials, including the Centers for Disease Control, say a proper diagnosis cannot be made without laboratory confirmation.

While the Department of Labor determined Paliscak's illness was work-related, and he receives workmen's compensation, Paliscak and his personal doctors are frustrated by the lack of a formal anthrax diagnosis. One doctor accused the CDC of having it's head in the sand about the case, the Times said.

(UPI)


20 posted on 06/07/2005 9:25:15 AM PDT by TrebleRebel
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