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Timeline of Florida 2001 anthrax attack

Boca Raton, Florida

   * September 19, 2001: A letter addressed to Jennifer Lopez containing a
     Star of David and a bluish powder arrived in the Sun's mailroom.
     Several people handled the letter, and Stevens sniffed some of the

   * September 30: Stevens began feeling ill on the last day of a five-day
     vacation at his daughter's home in North Carolina

   * October 1: 6 a.m. EDT Stevens returned to his home. He spent most of
     the day in bed.

   * October 2: 2-2:30 a.m. EDT Stevens was admitted to the John F. Kennedy
     Hospital emergency room in Atlantis, Florida. presenting
     disorientation, a high fever, vomiting, and inability to speak.

     6 a.m. EDT Stevens was placed on a ventilator.

     Stevens was examined for meningitis by infectious-disease specialist
     Dr. Larry Bush. Bush found a high white blood cell count and rod-shaped
     bacilli; he soon was convinced Stevens had contracted anthrax. He then
     notified the Palm Beach County Health Department.

   * October 3: In the evening, government investigators, including 12
     investigators from the CDC, some from the Epidemic Intelligence
     Service, began their investigation into Stevens' movements of the last
     few days and potential sources of the anthrax. The hospital ships
     spinal fluid samples to state health officials and the CDC.

   * October 4: The CDC confirmed the anthrax diagnosis. Federal officials
     announced that Stevens was admitted to a hospital on Tuesday with
     non-contagious pulmonary anthrax. HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson
     suggested Stevens may have contracted anthrax from drinking water from
     a contaminated stream, a medically far-fetched theory.

   * October 5 4 p.m. EDT: Mr. Stevens died.

   * Sunday, October 7 In the afternoon, the government sealed the American
     Media building. In the evening, Bacillus anthracis spores were found on
     a computer keyboard Stevens used at the offices of The Sun. Anthrax
     spores were detected in the nasal passages of Ernesto Blanco, 73, mail
     supervisor at The Sun. The authorities decided to test all employees in
     the building.

   * Monday, October 8 9 a.m. EDT 1,000 people, American Media employees or
     other long-term visitors, underwent nasal swab tests and began taking
     antibiotics from the National Pharmaceutical Stockpile.

   * Tuesday, October 9 American Media employees underwent blood tests.

   * Wednesday, October 10 8 p.m. EDT: Officials announced that a third
     American Media employee tested positive for exposure to anthrax. The
     CDC laboratories, located in Atlanta, suffered a power failure caused
     by a short-circuited cable which lasted until Thursday morning.

   * Thursday, October 11 Stephanie Dailey, 36, the third American Media
     employee to test positive, identified herself and stated that she was
     in good health.

   * Saturday, October 13 American Media stated that the blood tests of five
     more employees, including two Inquirer employees, tested positive for
     anthrax antibodies.

   * Monday, October 15 Ernesto Blanco was diagnosed with pulmonary anthrax,
     and moved to the intensive care unit. The Florida Department of Health
     announced that a minuscule amount of spores were found in the Boca
     Raton post office. They were found in a small mail sorting area where
     mail for American Media is handled, specifically in the throwback slot
     of the letter case for the American Media route. The room was sealed
     and cleaned.

   * Tuesday, October 16: It is reported that the anthrax bacteria sent to
     NBC is of the same strain as that found in Boca Raton.
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