Nine people, including adults and children, have presented with symptoms of cutaneous anthrax over the past month in Vietnam’s northern Ha Giang province, according to a Xinhua report.
The cases of the bacterial disease are reported linked to the handling and consumption of contaminated meat.
The report states that during Sept. 17 to Oct. 9, medical centers in Meo Vac District in Ha Giang reported nine cases with clinical presentation of cutaneous anthrax.
No fatalities have been reported.
A Wikipedia entry notes that Hà Giang is a province in the Northeast region of Vietnam. It is located in the far north of the country, and contains Vietnam’s northernmost point. It shares a 270 km long border with Yunnan province of southern China, and thus is known as Vietnam’s final frontier.
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. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page