N.H. anthrax victim walking, remains hospitalized

The New Hampshire woman who contracted a rare form of anthrax two months ago is now able to get up and walk around, health officials have announced, but will remain hospitalized for some time.

The woman contracted gastrointestinal anthrax, the first reported anthrax infection in the state since 1957, at a drum circle when anthrax spores were sent airborne from animal skin drum heads by repeated pounding.

"It is a disease that we think may be the first confirmed case in the U.S., possibly the first ever by this mechanism, so we have really no disease course for this patient," Dr. Elizabeth Talbot, an adviser to the state's public health division, told the Concord Monitor.

Gastrointestinal anthrax is considered relatively rare in comparison to the more widely reported cutaneous form of anthrax.

Dr. Jodie Dionne-Odom, the deputy state epidemiologist for New Hampshire, told the Associated Press that the woman's conditioning has been getting better and she is currently listed in stable condition.

Several companies have submitted bids to decontaminate the United Campus Ministry, where the drum circle took place. Several samples of anthrax were found at the ministry's Waysmeet Center in Durham, New Hampshire by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The samples were found on two drums used in the December 4 drum circle the woman attended, on an electrical outlet and in three other places.