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Anthrax has been a concern in the Federal workforce since the anthrax attacks of 2001. More recently, in response to media coverage of other potential threats such as smallpox, and the initiation of limited vaccination programs, some Federal employees have become concerned about additional threats. Though there is useful information for the manager on a number of Federal web sites, few managers have time to search for it.

The purpose of this portal is to provide quick access to practical, timely resources to help managers carry out their responsibilities in these challenging times. This is a living document; we welcome your feedback and recommendations for additional links and/or information sources. Please contact us at

General information about anthrax
and other bioterrorism issues:

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a comprehensive site with information on a variety of possible bioterrorism hazards and how to respond to them. Includes information on smallpox and smallpox vaccination, plague, and other bioterrorism topics. Also covers chemical and radiological hazards. Updated as new hazards appear in the news and may be of concern to employees.

From the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), a frequently updated site with information on anthrax and other bioterrorism issues. Some documents in English and Spanish. Useful links to other resources including information about research and professional practice.

From MEDLINEplus, the National Library of Medicine's consumer health web resource, updated information on bioterrorism issues, with links from authoritative sites and selected news items. Also covers chemical agents, treatment, research, and special needs of children, and offers links to key government sites.

Coping with Disaster/Violence/Stress:

Information from the National Institute of Mental Health on post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety disorders, and a special fact sheet on helping children and adolescents cope with violence and disasters.

The report if an inter-agency consensus study on mental health interventions in mass disaster situations. Aimed at mental health professionals, useful for planning Employee Assistance Program (EAP) support for emergency situations.

Handling Mail

From the Centers for Disease Control , questions and answers on handling mail at work and at home.

From the United States Postal Service (USPS), all the latest news on anthrax and the mail. Also includes extensive guidance on mailroom safety and security.

Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) downloadable* color poster on identifying suspicious packages.

To view the PDF document, you will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Please click on the Acrobat icon to download your free Reader Get Acrobat Reader (need Help?).

FBI's pictures of letters accompanying anthrax samples.

From the United States Postal Service (USPS), downloadable post card with tips on recognizing suspicious mail. English and Spanish.

Hazardous Duty Pay:

From the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), questions and answers on hazardous duty pay or environmental differential pay for potential exposure to anthrax.

Leave Administration/Health Benefits:

From the Office of Personnel Management - Questions and Answers Regarding Leave and Health Benefits related to Anthrax Testing and Treatment.

Responding to telephone threats:

From GSA’s Federal Protective Service, a checklist for talking with callers who make threats.

Supervising employees with concerns about anthrax

Office of Personnel Management's publication, Handling Traumatic Events: A Manager's Handbook. No specific information on bioterrorism, but it has general advice on how to manage in the face of injury, death, and anxiety.


From GSA, information on several types of training on mail management. Including desktop training and in-person courses.

Workers Compensation

From the Department of Labor, information on workers’ compensation issues related to anthrax exposure, prophylactic medications, and treatment for the disease.

NOTE: Under Federal Law, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is prohibited from ranking, endorsing, or promoting agencies or organizations listed on its Web site.