There have been six “white powder” incidents registered in Ukraine. A letter with a potential contagion was found in the dispatch office of the Ukrainian parliament on Monday. The envelope and the suspicious powder were sent to a special lab for a research. The first vice-speaker of the Ukrainian parliament Viktor Medvedchuk claimed today that the preliminary results of the powder research were positive: there was no anthrax virus found in it. However, the final results will become known only October 25. The envelope with the powder inside was withdrawn from the mail, addressed to Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Anatoly Zlenko. The content of the envelops is now being examined at the Ministry for Emergency Situations.
For the time being there is an impression that the “powder mail” is only a joke, not biological terrorism. It is also possible that it is only stage one of what is going to follow soon. And then, when everybody is tired of examining Tide or Ariel, there can be a chance for a real anthrax letter. Anthrax is Ukraine is not really exotic. You may not receive any letters at all, and you will not feel safe anyway. PRAVDA.Ru earlier informed about an outbreak of anthrax in one of the cattle-breeding farms of the Kiev region this August. The meat of the sick animals was available to buy on the market places and several people fell ill with this disease. Luckily, all those nine persons were hospitalized on time and recovered successfully. As doctors said, that outbreak could be caused by anthrax bacteria from the totally forgotten cattle burial grounds.
There has been another anthrax incident registered the other day - a cow was infected at one of the private farms in the Odessa region. 3 persons, who were in contact with the cow are now under the medical control.
The chief of the department for contagious diseases precautions of the Healthcare Ministry, Lyudmila Mukharskaya, said to The Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper that there were about 10 thousand unfavorable cattle burial grounds in the country. They can be considered as “ biological mines of delayed-action.” Even the known burial grounds are not fenced in or guarded. The “mail terror” pales in comparison.
Andrey Lubensky PRAVDA.Ru Ukraine
AP photo: Postal workers line up outside District of Columbia General Hospital in Washington Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2001
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