A Microsoft Licensing office in Nevada became part of the nationwide anthrax scare this past weekend when a suspicious, threatening letter received at the office tested positive for the inhaled version of anthrax. Six people at the office had some form of contact with the letter, which was addressed from Malaysia and contained pornography; they are undergoing treatment now. The anthrax was found on the pornographic pictures in the letter, which appeared to have been opened and resealed at some point before arriving at the office.
"On behalf of Steve \[Ballmer\], Bill \[Gates\] and the executive team, I want to give you an update on the mail I sent last night regarding the possible presence of anthrax bacteria in a letter received by the Microsoft office in Reno, Nevada," an internal Microsoft memo reportedly reads. "We are taking this situation very seriously and are working closely with law enforcement and health officials to ensure the safety of all our employees."
The letter underwent three anthrax screenings, which produced mixed results. After the first screening indicated that it was contaminated with anthrax, a second test indicated that it was not. A third and more conclusive test, conducted over the weekend, verified that the letter was contaminated. "We have just learned from Nevada health officials that the third test, completed just this afternoon, has come back positive, indicating that some form of anthrax bacteria was present on the envelope or the enclosed materials," the memo reads. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) will examine the letter yet again, however, to determine the risk.
On Sunday, it was determined that four of the six employees who handled the letter had tested negative for anthrax. Fortunately, anthrax isn't contagious, making it more difficult to spread.