An anthrax outbreak has been confirmed in Buduba District, Uganda, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Eight suspected human cases were reported and clinically evaluated in four villages. Of these, seven were sampled and one died on 16 May without being sampled. The date of onset of symptoms was between 2 and 12 May 2022. The district performed a preliminary test using Gram stain which was positive for Bacillus anthracis.
Anthrax is a very serious disease of livestock because it can potentially cause the rapid loss of a large number of animals in a very short time. Affected animals are often found dead with no illness detected.
When conditions become favorable, the spores germinate into colonies of bacteria. An example would be a grazing cow ingests spores that in the cow, germinate, grow spread and eventually kill the animal. Anthrax is caused by the bacterium, Bacillus anthracis. This spore forming bacteria can survive in the environment for decades because of its ability to resist heat, cold, drying, etc. This is usually the infectious stage of anthrax.
There are no reports of person-to-person transmission of anthrax. People get anthrax by handling contaminated animal or animal products, consuming undercooked meat of infected animals and more recently, intentional release of spores.
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