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Environmental testing at ABC News - Broadcasting & Cable

Environmental testing at ABC News

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The FBI and the New York City Department of Health are conducting
environmental tests of two floors at ABC News in New York Tuesday, one day after
the network disclosed that the infant son of an ABC News producer had contracted
cutaneous anthrax.

The news division has relocated staffers on parts of the second and third
floors, where the infant (who was there to attend a birthday party) was said to
have visited for about two hours Sept. 28.

The two main areas under scrutiny include second-floor offices and
third-floor edit bays. But World News Tonight will broadcast from its
normal studio at that location.

The FBI and Health Department officials were also spending much of the day
interviewing ABC News staffers to gain any information they can about the
possible source of the anthrax and whether anyone else within the division (or
those they might have come in contact with) has shown symptoms of the
disease.

So far, no else beside the infant (who has been treated and should recover
completely) has shown symptoms, sources said.

Mailroom personnel were instructed to wear latex gloves as an added
precaution, and other measures were being taken that an ABC News spokesman said
he could not disclose.

In a memo to all ABC News staffers Monday night, ABC News president David
Westin said that based on results of the ongoing investigation, 'We will make a
determination with the authorities as to who should be tested for possible
exposure and who should receive antibiotics as a prophylactic.'

Westin also said symptoms usually appear within one week of being exposed to
anthrax spores.

The Walt Disney Co. president Robert Iger also issued a memo to ABC News
staffers, telling them, 'Your well being is of the utmost to us.'

Iger also told the news staffers, 'Your perseverance, commitment and
professionalism is an inspiration to all of us.'

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