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Thursday, 18 October, 2001, 06:13 GMT 07:13 UK
Senate workers line up for tests
Queue inside the Senate
People queued for hours to have a swab
Paul Reynolds

It took more than three hours to reach the head of the line.

Hundreds of people queued up for anthrax tests in the United States Congress on Wednesday, such was the demand from an increasing number of people who felt they might have been at risk.

People were calm, apprehensive, but glad they had come

They included staff, members, visitors and journalists who had been in the Senate office building where the anthrax-infected letter sent to Senator Tom Daschel was received.

I waited with an intern who worked in a senator's office in another part of a different building to where the letter was opened.

Others in line were a lobbyist who had been in that building on Tuesday morning, as I had, and a student whose room-mates worked there.

Quarantined area in Senate
Some Congress buildings will be closed until next week

People were calm, apprehensive, but glad they had come.

Nasal swab

The procedure consisted of a swab taken from the back of each nasal passage.

The results will be notified by the week end.

In the meantime, each person is given six days' supply of the antibiotic Cipro as a precaution.

This treatment will not be continued if the test is negative.

The BBC's Stephen Sackur
"Everyday... there's a new twist"
Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle
"There is no evidence of infection at this point"
Michael Powers, bioterrorism expert
"The smaller the particle size the longer the agent will stay in the air"
See also:

17 Oct 01 | Americas
Anthrax: Vehicle for spreading fear
17 Oct 01 | Americas
Using anthrax as a weapon
16 Oct 01 | World
Anthrax attack: What to do
16 Oct 01 | Americas
Tracking the anthrax spore
15 Oct 01 | Health
Q&A: Anthrax
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