CBS News Employee, N.J. Postal Worker Have Skin Anthrax

A woman who works in Dan Rather's office at CBS News in New York and a postal worker in Trenton, N.J., who may have handled mail sent to NBC's Tom Brokaw and Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle have been infected with cutaneous anthrax.

The CBS employee has developed the skin form of anthrax and "is expected to make a full recovery; in fact, she feels fine," said Andrew Heyward, CBS News president. He said the woman was being treated with antibiotics.

It was not immediately known how the CBS employee might have become infected. Because the woman handled mail, investigators believe the anthrax was delivered in an envelope, city officials said.

CBS radio said the network received a letter containing anti-Israel and anti-American messages. Rather is the anchor of the CBS Evening News and appears on news magazine shows.

Acting Gov. Donald T. DiFrancesco said the New Jersey postal worker who has come down with cutaneous anthrax was on duty at the time anthrax-laced letters were sent to Brokaw and Daschle through the main Trenton postal facility in Hamilton Township.

A second New Jersey postal employee was also being tested for exposure, DiFrancesco said. One of the workers is a female mail sorter, and the other is a male maintenance worker. Officials would not say which employee had been infected.

"Both are doing well" and are being treated by personal physicians and taking antibiotics, DiFrancesco said. He said officials with the federal Centers for Disease Control were en route to New Jersey to decide whether additional tests are warranted for other postal employees.

"We're doing everything we can to protect the health and safety of the public," he said.

Operations at the post office were shut down Thursday. The facility collects mail from 46 postal offices in central New Jersey.

Postal officials have been examining video surveillance tapes to try to determine the source of the letters. They are also examining the envelopes for clues; the envelopes mailed to Daschle and Brokaw were pre-stamped.

Officials are also examining the black-and-white striped computer lines that route the mail. The bar codes give a date and approximate time the letters were processed, Postal Inspector Tony Esposito has said. Other information from the bar codes eliminated many of the post offices from the search, he said.

CBS announced its anthrax case on its morning radio and television broadcasts, and on its Web site.

New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said the woman began to experience swelling on Oct. 1, and that no one else at CBS had shown any symptoms.

Health Commissioner Neal Cohen said there were no public health concerns at the West 57th Street building, known as the CBS Broadcast Center.

The health department planned to interview employees in the broadcast center Thursday.

CBS became the third major network to have an encounter with the anthrax microbe.

An NBC News employee who works with Brokaw became infected with cutaneous anthrax after opening a letter addressed to the news anchorman.

A 7-month-old boy who visited ABC's headquarters last month is being treated for anthrax. Health and network officials say they do not know how the baby was infected, but are operating under the assumption that he was exposed when his father, an ABC employee, took him to the network's Manhattan offices.

At NBC, health officials gave a clean bill of health to the network's headquarters in Rockefeller Center. Tests on some 500 employees all came back negative.

An test of the air filters at ABC's Manhattan headquarters came back negative, the network said.

On Thursday, Gov. George Pataki moved his staff to a new location after his New York City office tested positive for anthrax bacteria.

Pataki said he is taking the antibiotic Cipro as a precaution, but does not plan to get tested for the disease.

"I don't think it's necessary," Pataki said Wednesday. "I feel great."

He said Thursday that he was following the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"The CDC sent us a protocol and it outlined what steps everybody who has been in the office should take," the governor said on ABC's Good Morning America.

Besides the CBS and NBC employees and the infant at ABC, three people in New York have tested positive for anthrax exposure: two New York lab technicians and one policeman who worked on the NBC case. They were treated with antibiotics.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.