BOCA RATON, Fla. – A small amount of anthrax spores have been found in a post office that handled mail for a publisher where the germ killed a man earlier this month, authorities said Monday.
The area was shut down. Employees responsible for sorting mail in the private area of the post office have received nasal swabs that came back negative for anthrax, Postal Inspector Manny Gonzalez said.
About 30 workers were tested and are taking antibiotics that fight anthrax, said Palm Beach County Department of Health spokesman Tim O'Connor said.
"There is no indication that these spores pose a health risk to workers or visitors," health officials said in a statement. No tests were planned of visitors or companies that receive mail from the building.
State health department spokesman Frank Penela said test results on the building came back Monday. He said the area would reopen Tuesday after it's cleaned by Environmental Protection Agency workers.
The post office handles mail for American Media Inc., the tabloid publishing company whose Boca Raton headquarters was closed after anthrax killed a photo editor and was later found in the mailroom. As many as seven other AMI employees have been exposed.
Meanwhile, the FBI said Monday that the wife of an AMI tabloid editor rented apartments to two of the suspected hijackers who died in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
"Right now we consider it a coincidence because we don't have any tie between the anthrax and the terrorists," FBI spokeswoman Judy Orihuela said.
Gloria Irish, a real estate agent, rented two apartments in nearby Delray Beach to Hamza Alghamdi and Marwan al-Shehhi this summer. Both were on United Airlines Flight 175, the second jet that was flown into the World Trade Center.
Irish is the wife of Michael Irish, editor at the Sun -- the tabloid where Robert Stevens died of anthrax on Oct. 5. Gloria Irish declined comment Monday, saying she didn't want to speak with reporters on the matter.