Federal Building sample tests negative

Posted: Tuesday, October 23, 2001

JUNEAU -- A sample of powder taken from a U.S. Coast Guard office last week has tested negative for anthrax.

The agency found the substance on the sixth floor of the Federal Building and sent a sample to the state public health lab.

The powder appeared to be Metamucil, a laxative, said Bob King, spokesman for Gov. Tony Knowles.

"Apparently there was a container of Metamucil nearby. The substance looked like Metamucil," King said. "It was just tested for anthrax and tested negative."

It was the third of three anthrax scares in Juneau. The bacterium also was ruled out in the other two incidents. Authorities responded to more than 30 anthrax scares across the state last week, but the state lab has not found any anthrax in Alaska to date, said King, noting that the number of new reports has dwindled this week.

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