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Anthrax antidote

The recent outbreak of Anthrax cases in the United States has prompted several health

officials in Phnom Penh to make sure stocks of the antibiotic CIPRO are available

should the disease be discovered here in Cambodia.

"Doctors in town have been talking about Anthrax," said Dr James Cousins,

Chief Medical Officer at the International SOS health clinic.

"The day I heard about [the first case in Florida in September] I ordered a

whole lot [of CIPRO]," said Cousins. He said International SOS has 1,000 CIPRO

tablets on hand and that the medicine was readily available from local drug distributors.

A spokesman for the US Embassy said they were "in the process of getting [medicines]"

and that embassies worldwide had been given instructions on how to identify potential

anthrax threats.

An official with the UNDP said they were "fully equipped" to deal with

the threat of Anthrax poisoning. Sources say a four-page memo was circulated to all

UN agencies last week describing what to do if a suspicious package is received in

the mail.

Post efforts to determine which government agency should be contacted if a package

containing suspected poison was received were inconclusive. One police official said

calls could be made to the Municipal Police 24-hour hotline at 012 999 999. Another

said to contact the Ministry of Interior's Dept. of Penal Police for Technology &

Science at 016 858 544.

The Pasteur Institute can test for Anthrax. Any suspicious packages should be sealed

in plastic and delivered for testing.



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