West Virginia holds mock anthrax contamination at post office

Charleston, West Virginia, conducted a simulation of an anthrax attack at its post office on Tuesday.

"If there's things we can do better, that's what we do these drills for because we want to play the way we practice," Bob Sharp of the Charleston Fire Department said, WSAZ reports. "You know, so today we're practicing it, and maybe we'll learn a few things and make it better if the real thing does occur."

The department conducted business as if it were a real anthrax attack, quarantining contaminated employees and ushering them through showers where they were brushed, rinsed and given a special suit to wear. They were then taken to a hospital by bus, according to WSAZ.

The exercise was tightly controlled and employees participated on a volunteer bases, many understanding well the serious threat of anthrax.

"I just wanted to go ahead and go through the whole procedure, just in case something ever did happen," postal employee Jerome Hairston said, WSAZ reports. "Since I am a supervisor, I kind of need to know so I can help other people that are going through it."

"When those attacks happened back in 2001, there were two postal employees that actually died because they came in contact with a letter that was contamination by anthrax," David Walton, a spokesperson with the postal service, said, according to WSAZ.