VANCOUVER, B.C. — Tests have confirmed that seven B.C. Ferries employees who were tested for anthrax after coming into contact with a suspicious white powder, do not have the deadly disease.
After discovering the suspicious powder in a roll of coins, a cashier and six others were tested and ferry service between Tsawwassen and the southern Gulf Islands was suspended.
The employees were tested at the B.C. Centre for Disease Control in Vancouver.
"The samples need to be handled at the appropriate level," says Marty Pearce, an epidemiologist with the Capital Health Region. "When you’re dealing with a biological substance, you need to see if it will be able to grow."
Health officials are still considering sending the samples to the Health Canada lab in Winnipeg just to confirm it’s not anthrax, but Pearce says Canada’s only full-containment lab is overwhelmed with suspicious samples.
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