Fla. Man Recovering From Rare Form of Anthrax

Wednesday, 31 Aug 2011 11:48 AM

By Andra Varin

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A Florida man is recovering after contracting a very rare — and almost always lethal — form of anthrax. Dan Anders, 61, of St. Petersburg, was not the victim of a terror attack, as in the case of the five people who died in 2001 after being infected by anthrax that was sent through the mail.
 
Officials believe Anders inhaled spores of a naturally occurring strain of anthrax during his summer vacation out West, the St. Petersburg Times reported.
 
The Vietnam vet became ill in August after he and his wife, Anne, went on a summer tour of national parks in the West, including Yellowstone, Glacier and Mount Rushmore. The couple were staying with friends in Minnesota when Anders had to be hospitalized.
 
Fortunately, hospital officials were able to identify the Bacillus anthracis, or anthrax bacteria, that had infected Anders.
 
“They said I had a less than 5 percent chance of making it,” Dan Anders told the St. Petersburg Times. “But I did.”
Officials with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Anders probably contracted the anthrax on the trip, but they aren’t sure exactly where. Since 1976, only two cases of naturally occurring inhalation anthrax have been seen in the United States.

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