Health officials in Tanzania are reporting an anthrax outbreak in Moshi District, Kilimanjaro Region in northern Tanzania.

Bacillus anthracis bacteria Image/CDC
Bacillus anthracis bacteria

According to Kilimanjaro Regional Commissioner, Anna Mghwira, eight additional people were hospitalized for their illness at two different hospitals.

It is believed the patients had consumed anthrax tainted cow.

Tanzania anthrax outbreak: Dozens sickened, 4 dead

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.

Related: Anthrax: An interview with Dr Buddy Faries