White powder scare shuts down hospital ER

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by Brad Woodard / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on August 2, 2012 at 10:50 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 3 at 11:21 AM

HOUSTON—It looked like a scene from a movie as the emergency room at Angelton Danbury Medical Center had to be shut down for several hours because of a possible anthrax scare.

It all started when a Brazoria County resident received a package in the mail from an unknown address containing a white powder.

“They brought it to the Justice of the Peace office in West Columbia,” said Glenn Lamont, of Brazoria County Emergency Management.  “The contents had come out and it irritated a deputy who had handled it.   It caused him nose and mouth irritation, so we treated it with caution as though it was the worst possible thing you could get in the mail, which we’ve seen in the past, is anthrax."

A test at an independent lab revealed the substance was a harmless vitamin supplement.  A hospital spokesperson said 30 patients and first responders were decontaminated as a precaution.  They were all eventually discharged, and the emergency room started accepting new patients again.

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