A 12-year-old boy is the first fatality in the anthrax outbreak that recently struck the Yamal Peninsula in northern Siberia, Russia, according to a Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Region government news release (computer translated).

The child died over the weekend from gastrointestinal anthrax, one of the three forms of the serious bacterial infection.


In addition, eight other people have been confirmed positive for the causative agent, Bacillus anthracis. In total, 72 people are now hospitalized at Salekhard hospital with confirmed or suspected anthrax, up 32 since our last report on Friday.

Nearly six out of 10 cases have been in children.

Governor Dmitry Kobylkin  urged local people to carefully follow doctors’ recommendations. ‘We will beat this infection. We are not alone, many people help us. Today we all have to be careful – and very careful – not to give any chance to this infection.’

In addition to the human anthrax cases, the number of reindeer with suspected anthrax that died has nearly doubled to almost 2,400.

The investigation into the source of the anthrax is still under investigation as to whether it was due to an animal or a human who died long ago.