Muskogee man's letter tests negative for anthrax

Friday, November 2nd 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) _ A letter sent to a man who turned up ill at a Muskogee doctor's office tested negative for anthrax, and doctors diagnosed him with another illness, an FBI official said Friday.

The case is the latest in a string of anthrax scares in the state.

The 48-year-old man arrived at a Muskogee doctor's office with flu-like symptoms Wednesday

He said he had received a letter containing a powdery substance seven days ago from a New York charity, said FBI spokesman Gary Johnson.

But testing by the state Health Department lab found the letter negative for anthrax.

``They're certain it's not anthrax,'' Johnson said.

State health officials who performed the testing said the letter was a solicitation from the American Cancer Society and showed no visible powder at the time of testing.

Johnson said the man was not tested for anthrax. He remained very ill, and doctors had diagnosed him with a disease that Johnson declined to disclose.