The Director of the Iowa Department of Public Health says reports linking a strain of anthrax to Iowa are pure speculation at this point. One man has died after being exposed to anthrax in Florida. Dr. James Gleason says Iowa State University researchers did isolate a strain of anthrax from an animal in 1950.
He doubts the Ames strain is involved in Florida.
Gleason spoke today with the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, who told Gleason they’re still testing and haven’t identified the source of the anthrax.
Gleason says any link to the anthrax identified 50 years ago in Iowa would likely be small. He says the strain has “probably been modified a zillion times,” and trying to find its original origin is a waste of time.
Gleason says the state has taken steps to ensure all of the anthrax samples in Iowa are safely under lock and key.
Gleason says he is confident the labs in Iowa are all taking the proper steps to guard the anthrax.