More than 1,000 animals have died following the outbreak of anthrax in Arua District, including two human fatalities, according to Uganda news source, Daily Monitor.

Bacillus anthracis bacteria Image/CDC
Bacillus anthracis bacteria

Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) in Entebbe laboratory analysis has confirmed the outbreak of the disease.

District veterinary officer, Dr Willy Nguma said 28 people were infected including the two deaths.

The statistics from the district indicate that so far 1,087 animals have died following the outbreak.

Rigbo, Rhino Camp, Uriama, Odupi, Imvepi and Pawor sub-counties are the most affected.

“We have tried to mobilize farmers to buy their own vaccines, but they are not willing to do that. So long as the animals are not vaccinated and carcasses are being eaten, the outbreak cannot end,” he said.


Turkey’s Diyarbakir Chamber of Medicine said a 10-year-old boy died from the eastern city of Bitlis reported as the first death due to anthrax, according to Turkish news source, Artı Gerçek (computer translated).

Anthrax outbreaks have hit Turkey due to 4,000 cattle imported from Brazil since greater Eid in August, with infected animals observed in Istanbul, the capital Ankara, as well as in several other cities.

“Before greater Eid, animals imported from Brazil enter the country before the 21-day quarantine procedure was completed and the laboratory results were obtained. That’s why we have the problem of anthrax now,” Mehmet Şerif Demir, the chair of the Chamber of Medicine in Diyarbakır said.

Some 130 people have been hospitalized due to suspicions of anthrax infection.

According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, Anthrax is a zoonotic disease caused by the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracisAnthrax is most common in wild and domestic animals but can also be seen in humans exposed to tissue from infected animals, contaminated animal products or directly to B anthracis spores under certain conditions.

Depending on the route of infection, host factors, and potentially strain-specific factors, anthrax can have several different clinical presentations. In herbivores, anthrax commonly presents as an acute septicemia with a high fatality rate, often accompanied by hemorrhagic lymphadenitis.

B. anthracis spores can remain infective in soil for many years. During this time, they are a potential source of infection for grazing livestock. Grazing animals may become infected when they ingest sufficient quantities of these spores from the soil. In addition to direct transmission, biting flies may mechanically transmit B. anthracis spores from one animal to another.

People can get anthrax by handling contaminated animal or animal products, consuming undercooked meat of infected animals and more recently, intentional release of spores.