The distraught mother of an NBC employee
who got anthrax after handling a letter containing the dreaded
disease ripped the FBI yesterday, saying the bureau didn't
seem to take the matter seriously.
Erin O'Connor, 38, an assistant to NBC anchor Tom Brokaw,
opened a letter to her boss containing a mysterious white
powder on Sept. 25.
"The letter was given over to the FBI, but they didn't seem
to take it seriously," her mother, Eileen, told The Post
Officials initially thought Erin contracted the disease by
handling that letter, but Mayor Giuliani said health officials
determined she became ill by handling a letter mailed to the
Eileen O'Connor said that on Sept. 28, Erin, who has worked
for Brokaw for 10 years, developed a temperature and felt
nauseous, her mother said.
"Then, what appeared to be a big bug bite appeared on her
shoulder," she said.
Erin went to an infectious-diseases clinic in Manhattan and
was given the antibiotic Cipro.
"A battery of tests were done, but the doctors did not
immediately know what was wrong," Eileen said.
After a week, the "bug bite" turned into a big, black scab.
"Erin was very frightened and went to another doctor to get
a second opinion. She was very concerned, and they did more
tests," her mother said.
A skin biopsy was taken, and early Friday the results came
back - Erin had the skin form of anthrax, which is less severe
than the inhaled form.
Eileen O'Connor said her daughter "is very traumatized."
Her husband, NYPD cop John Corcoran, is "trying to calm her
down, but it is very hard in the circumstances."