UK Warns Public of Nerve Agent Contamination
First official warning in wake of attack on former Russian spy, daughter
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 11, 2018 8:02 AM CDT
Forensic officers work at the cemetery in Salisbury, England, Saturday, March 10, 2018, as investigations continue at the cemetery where former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal's wife Liudmila and son Alexander are laid to rest.   (PA via AP)
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(Newser) – British health authorities on Sunday urged people to wash their clothing and possessions as a precaution if they visited a restaurant and pub in Salisbury, where a Russian ex-spy and his daughter were poisoned with a nerve agent. The statement was the first time British officials urged the public to take specific actions over the attack, reports the AP. Public Health England say the risk is low, but issued advice for anyone who went to Zizzi restaurant or The Mill pub at certain hours of March 4 and 5. Ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia reportedly ate at Zizzi before falling critically ill on March 4. "It is possible, but unlikely, that any of the substance which has come into contact with clothing or belongings could still be present in minute amounts and therefore contaminate your skin," the statement said. "Over time, repeated skin contact with contaminated items may pose a small risk to health."

The health agency added that people should "wipe personal items such as phones, handbags and other electronic items with cleansing or baby wipes and dispose of the wipes." Health officials say that up to 500 people may have to take these precautions. The government, meanwhile, hasn't revealed what nerve agent was used in the attack or how or where the Skripals were exposed to the nerve agent. It's not known if it happened in a restaurant, a pub, Skripal's house, or elsewhere. Home Secretary Amber Rudd said Saturday evening it is still "too early" to determine who is to blame for the attack. Rudd said more than 250 counterterrorism officers are on the scene evaluating more than 240 pieces of evidence and interviewing about 200 witnesses. They are backed by roughly 180 military personnel providing logistical support. More here.

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