(October 18, 2001) -- The LB Dept. of Health and Human Services reports it "has been receiving a large number of calls from individuals who believe they are ill or have been exposed to possible anthrax, smallpox or other biological hazards" and since October 12, there have been over 12 LB events that were "hoaxes or overreactions to normal substances."
While noting that "[i]n the event of discovery of a questionable substance, fire and police and public health officials will respond to investigate the incident," a LB Health Dept. release stresses [emphasis below in original]:
"At this time, there have been NO true anthrax exposures in California...
"At this time, there have been NO cases of anthrax disease or mail identified to be contaminated with biological hazards in California."
"There is NO recommendation for medical testing or treatment for those exposed to a 'non-credible' substance; in the event of a documented biological hazard exposure, the [LB Health Dept.] will contact the exposed individuals to be tested and to start on antibiotics."
The LB Health Dept. release added: "Please note that we are entering flu season. If you or members of your family develop fly like symptoms, it is much more likely to be the flu or related respiratory viruses than anthrax. The general public is at very low risk in developing anthrax disease or illness."
At the same time, the LB Health Dept. advised, "In the event of an emergency, immediately contact 911." [emphasis in original]
The City Hall run agency said additional information would be available on its web site (www.ci.long-beach.ca.us/health) and on its telephone hotline at (562) 570-4499.