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Volume 8, Number 10—October 2002
Bioterrorism-related Anthrax
Bioterrorism-related Anthrax

Adherence to Antimicrobial Inhalational Anthrax Prophylaxis among Postal Workers, Washington, D.C., 2001

Mariaelena D. Jefferds*Comments to Author , Kayla F. Laserson*, Alicia M. Fry*, Sharon L. Roy*, James Hayslett*, Laurence Grummer-Strawn*, Laura Kettel-Khan*, Anne Schuchat*, and selected members of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Anthrax Adherence Team1
Author affiliations: *Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA;

Main Article

Table 1

Reasons for stopping prophylaxis or reducing dosage during anthrax outbreak, Washington, D.C., 2001

Reasons for stopping prophylaxis (n=93)a n (%)
Adverse effects 73 (78)
Potential long-term adverse effects 59 (63)
Low risk of developing anthrax disease 47 (51)
Concerns about antibiotic resistance 32 (34)
Negative environmental test results (facility or nasal) 28 (30)
Saving antibiotic for later use 25 (27)
Restrictions to diet or alcohol consumption 22 (24)
Lack of support at work 16 (17)
Difficulty getting appointment with health-care provider 9 (10)
Advised by health-care provider 7 (7)
Expense of health-care provider visit or antibiotic 6 (6)
Reasons for reducing dosage (n=53)b
Adverse effects 38 (72)
Potential long-term adverse effects 8 (15)
Advised by health-care provider 2 (4)
Difficulty remembering to take antibiotic 2 (4)
          Take only on workdays 2 (4)
Low supply of pills 1 (2)

aWorkers were asked to respond to each reason. A total of 45 workers from the discontinued group and 48 workers from the intermediate group reported stopping prophylaxis.
bWorkers chose only answers that applied. A total of 13 workers from the discontinued group and 40 workers from the intermediate group reported reducing the dosage. Among the 53 workers who reduced their dosage, 5 reported more than one reason, and 5 reported other reasons not included here.

Main Article

1 The following members of the team were involved in the Washington, D.C., area response: Theodies Mitchell, Charlie Chamberlain, Arlene Shaw, Margaret Patterson, Chang Lee, Daryle Hardge, Veronica McCant, Robert Fireall, Colleen Crowley, Sandra Mattson, Margaret Tipple, Suzanne Lebovit, Pat Cook, Valerie J. Curry, Kelly Holton, Susan L. Lukacs, Julia C. Rhodes, Cindy R. Friedman, Holly A. Williams, Michelle G. Goveia, Leigh Winston, Heather Burke, Veronica Alvarez, Gail M. Stennies, Ernest E. Smith, Brigette Finkelstein, Julia Smith, Bobbie Person, Ian Williams, Wanda Walton, Nick Deluca, Regina Bess, Gabrielle Benenson, Kathleen Hutchins, and Luetta Schneider.

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Page updated: July 19, 2010
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