The Veterinary Health Alert Network (Rasve) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPA) has reported an outbreak of anthrax in a bovine farm in Ciudad Real.
According to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), 25 animals died from the disease. They also report the outbreak has originated in an area of pasture usually covered by the Guadiana River, which has been exposed by the drop in flow.
All surviving animals have been removed from the area and vaccinated with the Antravax vaccine. At the moment, as a result of this outbreak, there have been no cases in humans.
However, almost at the same time, the Management of the Don Benito y Villanueva de la Serena Health Area of the Extremadura Ministry of Health has issued an epidemiological alert after the appearance in the area of several possible cases of anthrax in both animals and in humans.
Anthrax is a bacterial pathogen in livestock and wild animals. Ruminants such as bison, cattle, sheep and goats are highly susceptible, and horses can also be infected.
Anthrax is a very serious disease of livestock because it can potentially cause the rapid loss of a large number of animals in a very short time. Affected animals are often found dead with no illness detected.
When conditions become favorable, the spores germinate into colonies of bacteria. An example would be a grazing cow ingests spores that in the cow, germinate, grow spread and eventually kill the animal. Anthrax is caused by the bacterium, Bacillus anthracis. This spore forming bacteria can survive in the environment for decades because of its ability to resist heat, cold, drying, etc. This is usually the infectious stage of anthrax.
There are no reports of person-to-person transmission of anthrax. People get anthrax by handling contaminated animal or animal products, consuming undercooked meat of infected animals and more recently, intentional release of spores.
There are three types of human anthrax with differing degrees of seriousness: cutaneous, gastrointestinal and inhalation.
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