Press Releases

Biologic Agents Identified

County Executive Office - Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 1, 2000

COUNTY OF ORANGE
Health Care Agency
PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICES

Contact: Mark Horton, M.D., MSPH
(714) 834- 3122
Hildy Meyers, MD
(714) 834-8024

BIOLOGIC AGENTS IDENTIFIED

The purpose of this communication is to confirm that two bacteria were identified among the biological materials removed from the Irvine home of Dr. Larry Ford. As we have stated in the past, there is absolutely no indication of any threat to public health. The organisms, which were found in extremely poor condition, were identified as Salmonella typhi and Vibrio cholerae. While both organisms are rare in the United States, they have been responsible for epidemics, particularly in developing countries, where hygiene and medical care are deficient.

Both organisms are listed by the CDC as potential agents in a biological attack. Neither is among those in the most dangerous category. There is no evidence to suggest that these materials were being used to prepare a biological weapon.

No other bacterial agents have been identified. Additional materials from the Biofem facility are still in the process of being evaluated by the FBI and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.