Anthrax and Bioterrorism

Responding to Threats and Fears of Bioterrorism

Indiana University urges all of the members of its various communities to show both caution and common sense in responding to the possibility of terrorist actions.

While there have been a flood of reports about suspicious incidents, it is important to remember that the number of confirmed cases of anthrax exposure remains very small. No cases have been confirmed in Indiana or, for that matter, on college campuses nationwide.

Still, we must remain attentive to possible threats. Several confirmed cases in other states involve anthrax being sent through the mail. The U.S. Postal Service site contains much useful information about how to detect and react to suspicious packages and letters.

Other useful sources of information on bioterrorism and anthrax threats can be found on the Web sites of the Indiana State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, former IU President Myles Brand appointed a committee with university wide responsibility, under the leadership of Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer Terry Clapacs, to address issues of emergency response and preparedness and to work with officials of all campuses in updating and testing their existing emergency plans. Those efforts will continue.

Meanwhile, we urge all members of the IU communities to educate themselves about the issues and remain watchful. Persons who believe they see a legitimate case of potential bioterrorism should alert the police on their campus or in their community. People also should be well aware that hoaxes regarding bioterrorism threats will be taken very seriously by authorities with prosecution and jail terms likely for those found guilty of such acts.

Through it all, Indiana University will remain committed to maintaining a safe and civil environment for its students, faculty, and staff to learn and work.

To learn more on anthrax and bioterrorism, see the Anthrax Matrix Pyramid