NSW Public Health Bulletin archive

Anthrax and other suspect powders: Initial responses to an outbreak of hoaxes and scares

Alexander Leask, Valerie Delpech, Jeremy McAnulty

New South Wales Public Health Bulletin 14(12) 218 - 221 Published: 01 December 2003

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About the author/s

Alexander Leask

Valerie Delpech

Jeremy McAnulty


Between 14 October and 16 November 2001, NSW Health was involved in the response to over 500 incidents where people were exposed to powdery materials suspected to contain spores of Bacillus anthracis. A public health response was established across NSW, to collate information about exposed people, and to provide them with the results of laboratory tests and to reassure them. This response relied heavily on the resources and staff of public health units, and on the cooperation and coordination of a range of government agencies.