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No anthrax so far in N.Y. subway test

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Investigators searching for the source of the anthrax that killed a New York City resident in October have found no evidence yet of the bacteria in the New York subway system, a city health official said Saturday.

Dr. Neal Cohen of the New York Department of Health said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention informed his department Saturday that anthrax tests so far have come back negative.

"To this point, there is no growth that's suspicious of anthrax, but as we know, the subway system is not a sterile environment," Cohen said at a news conference with New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

"We are comforted by the fact that we are now more than three weeks past the likely period of exposure -- possibly four weeks or more -- so we don't believe that statistically it's going to be very likely that any other individual is going to come forward who may have shared that exposure and manifest any illness," Cohen said.

Health and law enforcement officials have been working for weeks to unravel the mystery of how Kathy Nguyen, 61, a Vietnamese immigrant who lived in the Bronx and worked at a hospital in Manhattan, contracted the fatal anthrax infection. As part of that effort, they conducted tests on the subway line that she often took.

Nguyen is the only person in New York City who did not work at a media outlet who is known to have been infected.

Cohen said final subway test results were expected by the middle of next week.


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