By NewsDesk  @bactiman63

A suspected anthrax outbreak has sickened six people, killing one in Tukum village, Koraput district in Odisha state, according to a New Indian Express report. According to officials, the tribals of Tukum had organized a feast where they consumed the meat about 10 days back.

Bacillus anthracis/CDC

District health officials sent a medical team from Lamataput to the affected village to assess the situation. Veterinary officials also arrived on the scene.

Prophylactic antibiotics were given family members and relatives of the affected persons.

District public health officer Arun Padhi said  “Currently, we cannot say how many persons have been affected with anthrax in the village. The exact figure will emerge after the survey.”

Anthrax is a bacterial pathogen in livestock and wild animals. Ruminants such as bison, cattle, sheep and goats are highly susceptible, and horses can also be infected.

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 bacteriumBacillus 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.

There are three types of human anthrax with differing degrees of seriousness: cutaneousgastrointestinal and inhalation.