In the town of La Encantada in the northwestern region of Piura, health officials are investigating dozens of cutaneous anthrax cases linked to infected cattle, according to a RPP Noticias report (computer translated).

Cutaneous anthrax lesion /CDC
Cutaneous anthrax lesion /CDC

Director of Health, Jesús Juárez Eyzaguirre said their are 49 probable cases, including 32 that have been confirmed clinically.

He also noted that those infected had proximity to infected cattle. Ninety percent of cases are cutaneous anthrax.

At least six animals have died of anthrax in the town.

The Peruvian government has been monitoring all cases to take preventive measures to stop the spread of anthrax.

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.

Robert Herriman is a microbiologist and the Editor-in-Chief of Outbreak News Today and the Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch

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