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Anthrax Help Line

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    Below is some information on Anthrax that I had obtained from my friend, Tom Rhyon. Tom works as an investigator for the sheriff's department in Watauga County, and also served with me in the Gulf War. I hope it is helpful to you on any questions that you have on this subject.

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    There have been many questions concerning fears generated by anthrax scares. The questions are needed and expected in our society. We are the new world and there was nothing could break our shell of motherly protection until 9-11.
    But the truth of the matter is we were living in a world that was already held hostage by fear and ignorance. For those people who were in the front lines of terrorism, they already understood the power of knowledge and how it removed fear by not taking away the threat, but by learning and understanding they developed safeguards that made life easier.
    It's like a child in the dark. They hear noises that send them under the covers. It's not the noise that scares them, but not knowing what the noise is. This is the weapon of terrorism. Not knowing. The lack of education. They draw power from our ignorance and our refusal to admit they exist in our society. And what of the child? We as parents turn the lights on when we hear the calls for help and then when they see the door moving from a furnace coming on or the rustling of the curtain in the wind, the fear leaves.
    As quoted: Knowledge is the sword that smites the fears bred from blissful ignorance. Tom Rhyon - 2001
    We can choose to be afraid and ignorant, or we can choose to go outside our safe shell and learn the truths that will set free the fears that dwell within us.

Anthrax?
    This is a suggestion on what to do should you find a suspicious letter or package.

  1.     If a letter package looks to be suspicious, do not open it. Do not handle it or allow anyone else to handle it.

  2.     If you did handle it, set it down and move away from it. Immediately wash any area of skin that may have come into contact with the letter. Use soap and water and rinse well.

  3.     If you opened it and an unknown powder comes out, stop breathing. Set the letter or package down and gently step away. (Anthrax can enter the body three different ways: through ingestion, or by eating it), through coetaneous entry, or by entry through the skin, and last by inhalation, or by breathing it in.) When in a powder form, it can be spread easily by quick movement of the item in question. Simply set it down gently and slowly move away from it. Keep others away. Let no one else enter the room where it is. Wash well but do not leave the area too far due to the possibility of spreading the agent into unaffected areas.

  4.     Remember that if under the remote possibility that there is an actual agent in the package, fear will be your worst enemy. Anthrax is a biological agent and therefore will not jump on you and knock you down dead. There is an incubation period and you can be tested for exposure or infection. There is medication available and timely treatment is the key to fighting off the agent.

  5.     In the unlikely event that you have been exposed and did not seek attention there are some symptoms to look for. (NOTE: This is an outline only, no two people are the same and these symptoms may vary.)
    a. Itching of the skin
    b.
    Red and watering eyes
    c.
    Flu like symptoms
    d.
    Tightening of the chest
    e.
    Stomach cramps
    f.
    Headaches
    g.
    Bloody sputum when coughing
    h.
    Bleeding from sinuses
    i.
    In severe cases, the skin may blacken and blister

  6.     Note that anthrax is not usually spread by casual contact. But if blisters appear, it can be spread easily through the fluid buildup.

  7. When looking at a letter or parcel and trying to determine if it in fact suspicious, there are a couple of helpful hints.
    a. Is it from overseas?
    b.
    Do you know anyone from overseas?
    c.
    Is there a return address?
    d.
    Is the address hand written?
    e.
    Is there excessive postage?
    f.
    Are there misspelled words in the address?
    g.
    Is there tape to hold the letter shut?
        Any one of these alone doesn't mean much, but a combination would be cause to take notice.

  8.     Some companies use a powder to ship paper products so the paper will not stick together. When receiving professional shipments, call them to see if they use powders in the shipping process.

  9.     Should you feel you have a suspicious letter or package, call your local law enforcement agency or emergency medical services. They will assist in determining what type of incident you have.

  10.     Last of all, read about Anthrax!

    Knowledge is power! Knowledge destroys fear! Without fear, the terrorists lose the little "blankie" they have hid under for years. They are exposed for what they truly are. Just common thieves, liars, cowards and murderers of innocent women and babies. They have no special powers. They are not mystic warriors. They are simply losers.
    I hope this answers some of your questions. And I hope this especially hope this has taken away some of the fears.

Thanks Joe,
I appreciate you asking,

Tom

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