Letter Sent to Senator Roger Wicker Contained Ricin

Posted on April 16, 2013

U.S. Senator Roger Wicker was reportedly the target of a letter tainted with ricin, a deadly poison. Politico reports that the envelope of the letter tested positive for Ricin. Wicker has represented Mississippi in the United States Senate since December 2007.

CNN says the envelope tainted with ricin was intercepted at Capitol's off-site mail facility in Washington.

Politico says other senators are being briefed by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and FBI Director Robert Mueller.

The CDC has a FAQ page about ricin here. Ricin is a deadly poison made from castor beans. The CDC says ricin can come "in the form of a powder, a mist, or a pellet, or it can be dissolved in water or weak acid."

The signs and symptoms vary depending on the type of ricing exposure - inhalation, ingestion or skin and eye exposure. The CDC FAQ says ricin is unlikely to be absorbed through normal skin. The CDC says "death from ricin poisoning could take place within 36 to 72 hours of exposure, depending on the route of exposure (inhalation, ingestion, or injection) and the dose received."

Sen. Wicker issued the following statement: "This matter is part of an ongoing investigation by the United States Capitol Police and FBI. I want to thank our law enforcement officials for their hard work and diligence in keeping those of us who work in the Capitol complex safe. Gayle and I appreciate everyone's thoughts and prayers."

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