Navigation Links
Man Arrested in Tainted Letter Case, Officials Report

THURSDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- A Mississippi man has been arrested in connection with the sending of letters suspected of being tainted with the deadly toxin ricin to President Obama and a Republican senator, federal agents said Wednesday night.

The FBI has identified the suspect as Paul Kevin Curtis of Corinth, Miss., according to the New York Times.

On Wednesday, officials reported that a preliminary, inconclusive test suggests the deadly toxin ricin was in a letter sent to President Obama on Tuesday, officials report.

The letter was intercepted at the White House mail screening facility, which is not located near the White House complex, USA Today reported Wednesday.

The preliminary test showed evidence of ricin, but the FBI said only a complete second test can confirm if the letter actually did contain the deadly poison, the Associated Press reported.

Ricin, which is found in the castor oil plant, can prove deadly if inhaled, one expert noted.

"Without a doubt, ricin is toxic," said Victoria Richards, a toxicologist and assistant professor of medical sciences at the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut.

"If castor beans are eaten [about 20 for an adult] death can occur in six to eight days," Richards said. "When concentrated, ricin powder may be lethal in a much shorter timeframe. There is a process called oral inhalation, in which powders or aerosolized agents [depending on the particle size] can be deposited in the mouth and eventually swallowed."

If swallowed, "ricin will cause nausea, vomiting, bloody diarrhea and dehydration," Richards added. "Multiple organ damage also occurs, and eventually death."

At least three U.S. senators also reported receiving suspicious mail in recent days. A letter sent to Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., tested positive for ricin in a preliminary test. On Wednesday morning, a suspicious letter was received by Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., and a suspicious package was received by Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich.

"We do not know yet if the mail presented a threat," Levin said, USA Today reported.

The letter received by Wicker on Tuesday contained a "white granular substance" and was quarantined before the initial test indicated that the substance was ricin. The letter was intercepted at an off-site mail facility. The material has been sent to an accredited laboratory for further analysis.

The president was briefed on the suspicious letters on Tuesday night and again on Wednesday morning, said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, USA Today reported.

More information

For more on ricin, head to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCES: Victoria Richards, Ph.D., assistant professor of medical sciences, Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine, Quinnipiac University, Hamden, Conn; USA Today

Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Tainted Tattoo Ink Led to Skin Infection Outbreak
2. FDA: More Tainted Products at Firm Tied to Meningitis Outbreak
3. US Drug Watchdog Now Offers To Get A Free Legal Review For All DePuy ASR Recipients Who Received A Letter From Broadspire About Their Recalled DePuy Hip Implant
4. Letter from doctor boosts cholesterol medication use
5. Prescription Drugs and Sleep Aids may Hurt Sleep, from the December 2012 Harvard Health Letter
6. Eat Your Way to a Healthy Heart, from the January 2013 Harvard Heart Letter
7. TherapySites (Websites for Therapists) Announces an eNewsletter Feature for Therapists in 2013
8. Blood-based test detects cancer earlier, from the February 2013 Harvard Health Letter
9. CoachingWebsites (Websites for Coaches) Announces a New eNewsletter Feature for Coaches in 2013
10. PhysicalTherapistSites (Websites for Physical Therapists) Announces New eNewsletter Feature for Physical Therapists in 2013
11. PsychiatristSites (Websites for Psychiatrists) Announces a New eNewsletter Feature For Psychiatrists in 2013
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Man Arrested in Tainted Letter Case, Officials Report
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Beddit® has launched a ... sleep tracking systems. The new app features a more intuitive SleepScore™ that rates sleep ... well you slept. The SleepScore is created by a proprietary algorithm. Beddit analyzes the ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... “While riding the bus, ... from Bronx, N.Y. “I thought there had to be a convenient and comfortable way ... , The PROTECTOR enables disabled individuals to safely travel during cold or inclement weather. ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Md (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... Hypertension Association (PHA) announces the nation’s Periwinkle Pioneers, individuals and groups responsible for ... of this disease. The Periwinkle Pioneers, nominated by the public, will receive special ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... An unlikely ... resulting in a way for homeless people to have a more dignified and ... new initiative whereby they are repurposing plastic bags into sleeping mats for the ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... on providing comprehensive solutions involving adult stem cell therapies to patients with chronic ... the “Regenestem” name as a Registered Trademark (RTM). , Organizations are required to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... -- Sectra (STO: SECT B) announces that ... multi-year agreement to deploy Breast Imaging PACS in ... the Breast Center a future-proof platform capable of expanding with ... announces that Breast Center of Acadiana has entered ... PACS in its two freestanding imaging centers. This investment will ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , November 24, 2015 ... --> adds Latest Guidebook for Chinese ... 217 pages published in November 2015 to the ... business intelligence library at . ... the fastest growing global economies with a fifth ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... F1000Workspace - a research collaboration, ... was launched just six months ago. --> F1000Workspace ... for scientists - since it was launched just six months ... on to F1000Workspace - a research collaboration, reference ... launched just six months ago. --> ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: