N.H. anthrax woman responding to questions

New Hampshire's deputy state epidemiologist has announced that, as of Wednesday, the woman who contracted a rare form of anthrax almost two months ago, despite remaining hospitalized, is now able to answer state health officials' questions.

Responses from the patient, Dr. Jodie Dionne-Odom told WBZTV.com, seem to confirm the theory that she swallowed anthrax spores at the United Campus Ministry building in Durham that had been propelled into the air by drumming. Dionne-Odom would not give further details of the woman's responses.

After the Dec. 4 event at the building, the woman became ill and was listed in critical condition with gastrointestinal anthrax. Two animal skin covered drums in the building were found to contain anthrax spores during a subsequent investigation, which also revealed four other locations in the building with anthrax present.

The United Campus Ministry building houses eight University of New Hampshire students as well as a food pantry. It is used as a meeting place for many community groups. Since the infection, its offices, food pantry and students have been relocated, though they will be allowed to return after the building has been decontaminated.

A detailed cleanup plan has been given to the building's owner by the state, which requires contractors be hired to bleach and scrub five rooms in the building - a process expected to take several weeks. Special vacuums must also be used to decontaminate the areas.