Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) | October 27, 2021Read the Publication
The 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, resulted in deep national reflection. Less remembered are the events that began to unfold 7 days later as anonymous letters laced with deadly anthrax (Bacillus anthracis) spores began arriving at postal facilities, media companies, and congressional offices. The first death from inhaled anthrax exposure occurred on October 5, with an additional 4 deaths and 17 infections over the ensuing months. The anthrax attacks exposed a health system ill-equipped to respond to acute emergencies.