By NewsDesk @bactiman63
In a follow-up on the animal anthrax situation in the Lone Star State, the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) has received reports of additional cases.
The first anthrax case of the year was confirmed in one captive antelope on a premises in Uvalde County on June 19, 2019. Since that time, anthrax was confirmed in goats on a new Uvalde County premises on June 24, one Sutton County horse was confirmed to have anthrax on July 3, and cattle were confirmed to have anthrax on a separate Sutton County premises on July 4.
Officials say all the premises have been placed under quarantine and producers were advised on vaccinating exposed animals and the proper disposal of affected carcasses.
“It is common to see an increase in anthrax cases after periods of wet, cool weather, followed by hot, dry
conditions,” said Dr. Andy Schwartz, TAHC Executive Director. “During these conditions, animals ingest the anthrax bacteria when they consume contaminated grass and hay, or inhale the spores. Outbreaks usually end when cooler weather arrives.”
There is an effective anthrax vaccine available for use in susceptible livestock (includes but is not limited to, swine, equine, sheep, goats, cattle, wildlife, etc.) in high risk areas.
According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, Anthrax is a zoonotic disease caused by the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Anthrax is most common in wild and domestic animals but can also be seen in humans exposed to tissue from infected animals, contaminated animal products or directly to B anthracis spores under certain conditions.
Depending on the route of infection, host factors, and potentially strain-specific factors,anthrax can have several different clinical presentations. In herbivores, anthrax commonly presents as an acute septicemia with a high fatality rate, often accompanied by hemorrhagic lymphadenitis.
B. anthracis spores can remain infective in soil for many years. During this time, they are a potential source of infection for grazing livestock. Grazing animals may become infected when they ingest sufficient quantities of these spores from the soil.In addition to direct transmission, biting flies may mechanically transmit B. anthracis spores from one animal to another.
People can get anthrax by handling contaminated animal or animal products, consuming undercooked meat of infected animals and more recently, intentional release of spores.