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Message to the University Community (Released: 11/30/01)

From President Philip E. Austin

I want to let you know that the results of the tests of the contents of the vials and environmental samples taken from the Atwater Laboratory in the Pathobiology Building on Tuesday have been released by the FBI. The text of the FBI's statement is reprinted below.

The results confirmed our expectations that the vials removed from the building by the state Department of Environmental Protection did contain anthrax but posed no direct threat to public health. We are pleased to report also that the samples taken by the state DEP of the area where the vials were stored tested negative for anthrax as well.

Additional tests are scheduled and we are awaiting further guidance from both law enforcement officials and the state Department of Public Health about the timing of the reopening of the building. As indicated earlier, information about class locations is available through the website at www.canr.uconn.edu/pathoclass. We will provide further information as it becomes available.

The text of the FBI statement is as follows:

New Haven, CT November 30, 2001
Michael J. Wolf, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI for the State of Connecticut, announced the receipt today of the final results of the analysis of material removed Tuesday, November 27, 2001 from the Wilbur O. Atwater Laboratory Building at the University of Connecticut.

The material, which was contained in two vials, was tested at the State Department of Public Health Laboratory in Hartford, Connecticut. The material tested positive for the presence of anthrax. The material was reportedly taken from the carcass of a dead cow in the 1960s. The samples themselves did not pose a direct safety threat, in that the material requires processing to realize anthrax spores. Tests conducted in the area where the vials were stored were negative.

Mr. Wolf advised that additional tests are scheduled to be conducted by the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) Laboratories, Fort Dietrich, Maryland. The purpose of these tests, among other things, will be to compare these samples with others in this investigation to date.

The FBI inquiry is continuing.

December 2001 Releases
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