Ricin in Senate office building (Washington, D.C.)
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Ricin in Senate office building (Washington, D.C.)

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      Tuesday, February 03, 2004, 004:45 EST (04:45 AM EST)


      On Monday, February 2, 2004, powder was found in a mail processing room in the Dirksen Senate office building in Washington D.C. Initial tests were positive for the poison ricin. These results are considered preliminary and additional testing is underway to clarify these results and determine whether the initial test was accurate. Employees and others who may have been exposed to the suspected ricin have been told to seek medical care if respiratory symptoms occur within 12 hours of known exposure.

      In addition to the risk for inhalation, potential hand-to-mouth exposure, leading to ingestion, may have occurred. Clinicians are urged to review the signs and symptoms of both inhalation and ingestion of ricin and consider the diagnosis with their patients.

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