Local government officials in northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province are reporting an outbreak of cutaneous anthrax.
As of Friday, one patient has been discharged and 13 others are undergoing hospital treatment in three cities.
Local authorities are examining the pathogens. A total of 818 sheep in the affected and high-risk areas in Huanan and Yilan counties have been culled.
The Heilongjiang Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Bureau has sent three expert teams to handle the situation. Meanwhile, it has sent 112,500 ml of anthrax vaccine to immunize livestock in the two counties .
The Heilongjiang Provincial Health Commission is saying the outbreak is now under control.
Anthrax is a serious infectious disease caused by gram-positive, rod-shaped bacteria known as Bacillus anthracis. Anthrax can be found naturally in soil and commonly affects domestic and wild animals around the world. Although it is rare, people can get sick with anthrax if they come in contact with infected animals or contaminated animal products
Cutaneous anthrax occurs when the spore (or possibly the bacterium) enters a cut or abrasion on the skin. It starts out as a raised bump that looks like an insect bite. It then develops into a blackened lesion called an eschar that may form a scab. Lymph glands in the area may swell plus edema may be present. This form of anthrax responds well to antibiotics. If untreated, deaths can occur if the infection goes systemic. 95% of cases of anthrax are cutaneous.
Related: Anthrax: An interview with Dr Buddy Faries
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