The Beginning of the Outbreak
Still reeling from the horrendous attack on the World Trade Center in September 2001, Americans psychologically braced themselves for another terrorist attack at any moment. Little did they know at the time that it had already begun with a most unexpected weapon.
It appeared to have begun on September 21, 2001, when a 31-year-old editorial assistant for the New York Post, Johanna C. Huden, noticed a red bump on the middle finger of her right hand. Initially, the bump, which looked much like a bug bite, wasn't cause for concern. However, after a couple of days the bump began to swell and turn black, worrying Huden, who thought it was an infection.
The doctor removed the blackened mass. Yet, the morning after the procedure the wound had not healed, despite the antibiotic treatment she had been given. In fact, it had gotten worse. Moreover, she began to experience flu-like symptoms.
Nevertheless, she continued on with her daily routine and went to work, hoping that the antibiotics would soon take effect. They had not. According to an article by Huden in the Post, Giving the Finger to Bioterrorists, she and her boss were watching the news when they learned that someone working for NBC had been infected with anthrax. To Huden's horror, she also learned that the symptoms of anthrax were identical to what she was experiencing, "red lesion, black, necrotic skin," and flu-like symptoms. Immediately she went to Mount Sinai Hospital, fearing the worst.
Fortunately for Huden, she eventually recovered. Yet, others were not so lucky. Over the subsequent months, the bacterial disease infected more than 21 people and claimed five lives. Shockingly, the anthrax infections were not a natural occurrence, but the work of a terrorist. One who continues to be at large and who remains a serious threat to American citizens and the world.