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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta offered the following advice on handling mail:
While it is not possible to eliminate the risk of anthrax, the risk to the general public is low and can be further reduced by being alert for suspicious packages and by hand washing after opening the mail. Heightened public health surveillance continues and has been intensified so that anthrax promptly can be recognized and treated. While the risk is considered to be low to individuals from possible contamination in the mail, people should continue to watch for suspicious mail. If a package or envelope appears suspicious, do not open it.
Suspicious packages and envelopes could include some of the following characteristics:
Dos and Don’ts for suspicious letters
Cutaneous anthrax is a boil-like skin lesion that eventually forms an ulcer with a black center or crust (similar in appearance to some spider bites). The cutaneous form of anthrax responds well to antibiotics if treatment is started soon after symptoms appear.
Individuals should, especially in areas that have been directly affected, review and be familiar with advice provided to all postal patrons by the U.S. Postal Service and follow that advice.