The anthrax outbreak in the Yamal Peninsula in of northern Siberia, Russia, that began in mid-July has resulted in the death of 2,349 reinderr, according to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE),


The five outbreaks in different areas of Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug resulted in some 2649 total cases.

Bacillus anthracis, the bacterial agent of anthrax, has been confirmed by the State Science Institution National Research Institute of Veterinary Virology and Microbiology of Russian Academy of Agricultural Sciences.

The OIE notes that it is thought that as a consequence of abnormally high temperatures experienced in Yamalsky district, the permafrost thawed which led to anthrax spores being shifted to upper soil layers. The animals got infected while grazing by ingesting vegetation contaminated by the causal agent.

Before this event no outbreaks had been reported in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug since 1941. Emergency vaccination of animals against anthrax is being carried out in the region. An epizootiological investigation is still ongoing.

The following measures are being taken by Russian authorities: Movement control inside the country, vaccination in response to the outbreak(s), disinfection / disinfestation, dipping / spraying, quarantine, surveillance outside containment and/or protection zone, official destruction of animal products, official disposal of carcasses, by-products and waste, surveillance within containment and/or protection zone, control of wildlife reservoirs and treatment of affected animals.