Suspected anthrax calls decline sharply
|||Online special: Anthrax: Fighting the Fear|
By Walter Wright
Advertiser Staff Writer
A dramatic drop in Honolulu reports of suspected anthrax indicates the public anxiety about the biological warfare agent has subsided, the Fire Department said yesterday.
The department had received 362 calls from Oct. 12 through yesterday, but only 30 in the past week, said HFD spokesman Capt. Richard Soo.
"We had 14 calls on Monday, Tuesday it was down to four, Wednesday to two, Thursday three, Friday two, Saturday four and today just one," Soo said yesterday.
"Our hazardous materials teams believe the public anxiety has subsided," Soo said.
Factors include the department's ability to quickly test samples with new equipment acquired by the city and indications in the national media that new findings of anthrax spores appear to be from cross-contamination rather than new mailings, he said.
The discovery of anthrax spores has not moved west of the Midwestern United States, Soo said, and Hawai'i residents may be feeling safer as a result.