Anthrax and the Mail

October 6th, 2008 | Sources: Washington Post

Subjects: ,

Last week, the US Postal Service and its major labor union tentatively approved HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt’s proposal to have mailmen distribute doxycycline to all homes along their routes in the event of an anthrax attack.

“We have found letter carriers to be the federal government’s quickest and surest way of getting pills to whole communities,” Leavitt told the Washington Post.

Mail carriers would not be required to participate in the distribution scheme. Volunteer mail carriers would be accompanied by police officers during any handout.

HHS has conducted trials of the proposed strategy in Seattle, Boston and Philadelphia. In one trial, 50 carriers delivered antibiotics to 55,000 homes in less than 8 hours. Now the plan is to run a more extensive trial in the Minneapolis area.

One small problem is that the FDA has not approved doxycycline for the treatment of anthrax. Leavitt requested an expedited review last Friday. Take a number, Mike.


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