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WASHINGTON (AP) _ Two new cases of the skin form of anthrax were reported Thursday, one involving an assistant to CBS anchorman Dan Rather and the other a postal worker in New Jersey. That brought to six the total number of confirmed cases of infection.

In addition, up to three more suspected cases were being investigated, according to Dr. Julie Gerberding of the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The additional cases ``are in large part linked to Florida and New York situations,'' she said.

``We do have other individuals who are reporting skin lesions or exposure circumstances that are under active investigation,'' Gerberding said in a telephone conference with reporters. ``We are working around the clock to confirm or rule out'' anthrax infection.

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