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November 1, 2001
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Anthrax mailed to Pakistan's Jang group

A major publication group in Pakistan, Jang, has put its staff on antibiotics and hired a top microbiologist to disinfect its main editorial room in Karachi, after tests confirmed that the powdery substance sent along with a press release earlier contained anthrax spores.

The anthrax scare that hit the American media has spread to the Pakistan press as well, The News, part of Jang publications said on Friday, confirming that envelopes containing anthrax spores were received in the group's offices at Karachi, Quetta, Rawalpindi and London.

However, none of the employees exposed to the mail has tested positive for anthrax so far, it said.

But the staffers of the Jang in Karachi were put on antibiotics.

The News in a report also said that top microbiologists made staffers vacate the main editorial rooms in Karachi.

"The lab tests on Thursday confirmed that the white powdery substance has anthrax spores. We have hired Aga Khan Hospital's microbiologists to disinfect our main editorial sections," the newspaper quoted a management official as saying.

"We have advised our workers to be on high alert especially when they handle mail," the report added.

The measures were taken after tests confirmed that a press release received by one of the newspaper's reporters on October 23 contained anthrax spores.

So far, Pakistan has two confirmed cases of anthrax. Both were reported from multinational companies in Karachi after their staff received mail with anthrax spores.

PTI

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