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Initial anthrax test negative for Roddey

| Saturday, Oct. 27, 2001

Allegheny County Executive Jim Roddey, sick with flu-like symptoms after a visit to Washington, D.C., doesn't have anthrax, an initial test has found.

The county executive was tested Wednesday at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Montefiore Hospital in Oakland after he starting feeling ill, according to a statement his office issued Friday.

Roddey had gone home sick Friday and was not available for comment, said spokeswoman Margaret Philbin. Final test results are due in several days.

Roddey had visited Congressional leaders Oct. 16 and 17 in several Capitol Hill buildings later closed after anthrax was found in a letter delivered to Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, a South Dakota Democrat. Two Washington postal workers have died.

County Manager Bob Webb said Roddey's decision to get tested arose solely from his trip to Washington, D.C., and that no mail received by the county has raised any suspicions.

As a precaution, Roddey is taking Cipro, an antibiotic used to treat bacterial infections, including anthrax.

Health officials discourage anyone from seeking anthrax testing or treatment from a doctor or hospital emergency room unless they are sick or there is a positive anthrax sample from their environment.

Mayor Tom Murphy, who had been in Washington this week for a forum on security by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, said yesterday he had not been tested for exposure to the bacteria.

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