Kenyan authorities confirm anthrax spores in mail

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The Independent Online

Kenyan authorities confirm presence of anthrax in one of three envelopes mailed to Kenya. A senior health official said that white power in a letter mailed to an unidentified Kenyan from the United States has tested positive for spores.

Health Minister Sam Ongeri told a news conference that the recipient and four family members "may have come into contact" with the spores and tests were being carried out.

He said two other envelopes – one to a U.N. official in Nairobi and the other to a Kenyan businessman in the central town of Nyeri – also contained white powder and which was undergoing testing.

He said the letter containing the positive anthrax sample had been mailed Sept. 8 from Atlanta, Ga., and was received in Kenya on Oct. 9. It was opened on Oct. 11.

The hand–addressed letter to the U.N. official was mailed from Pakistan, and the letter to the businessman appeared to have been mailed from Nairobi, he said.

The U.N. Environment Program and Habitat, the only two United Nations specialized agencies located in the developing world, have their headquarters in the Kenyan capital. The official who received the suspect letter works for UNEP.