In a follow-up on the animal anthrax case in Jura, Switzerland, the surveillance system set up by the Consumer and Veterinary Affairs Department in Jura detected a second bovine case, according to a Swiss media report (computer translated).

Bacillus anthracis bacteria Image/CDC
Bacillus anthracis bacteria

The infected cow was detected on May 12 from the Jura farm after presenting symptoms of the lethal bacterial disease. The Consumer and Veterinary Affairs Department took him to the Institute of Animal Pathology at the University of Bern for additional examinations. The results confirmed Wednesday that the animal was infected with Bacillus anthracis.

This cattle is part of the same flock as the first and has most likely been in contact with the same infectious source. Other animals have no symptoms to date. Investigations are still under way to find the source of infection of this farm.

Anthrax is a bacterial disease caused by Bacillus anthracis, which is a naturally occurring organism with worldwide distribution.

The bacterial spores can lie dormant in the ground for decades and become active under ideal conditions, such as heavy rainfall, flooding and drought. Animals are exposed to the disease when they graze or consume forage or water contaminated with the spores.

Acute fever followed by rapid death with bleeding from body openings are common signs of anthrax in livestock. Carcasses may also appear bloated and decompose quickly.

A vaccine is available for use in susceptible livestock in high risk areas.