CDC to evaluate anthrax postexposure treatment through interviews

Jan 25, 2002 (CIDRAP News) – Thousands of people who were potentially exposed to anthrax last fall will be interviewed over the next 8 weeks to assess the results of their postexposure antibiotic treatment, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced yesterday.

The purpose is to gather information on adverse events related to the treatment and to determine the level of adherence to the regimen, the CDC said in a notice in today's issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

About 10,000 people in Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, New York City, and Washington, DC, may have been exposed to anthrax in the mailborne attacks and were advised to take antibiotics for 60 days. "CDC has contracted RTI International to conduct brief telephone interviews of all persons for whom postexposure prophylaxis was recommended," the notice says. Interviews will begin in the next week.

"The information from this evaluation will be critical to CDC's effort to improve the technical assistance and supplies needed with future anthrax postexposure prophylaxis campaigns and to comply with Food and Drug Administration regulations for monitoring for adverse events," the CDC notice states. More information about the evaluation is available from the CDC, telephone 404-639-3158.

CDC. Notice to readers: evaluation of postexposure antibiotic prophylaxis to prevent anthrax. MMWR 2002(Jan 25):51(3):59 [Full text]

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