By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Health officials with the La Pampa Health Ministry are reporting a suspected cutaneous anthrax case in a rural area in the south of the province. The patient is currently under treatment.

The Provincial Zoonosis Board warned that anthrax is “a serious zoonotic disease that can be transmitted from sick animals to people and its suspicion in both cases is notification mandatory”.

It is caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis that can survive in the environment for more than 50 years, because it has a form of resistance called spore. “This disease is also known as anthrax, malignant pustule. The disease is transmitted from sick or dead animals to humans but it is not spread between sick or convalescent people,” the Faculty explained in a statement.

In people, depending on the route of entry of the bacteria into the body, anthrax manifests itself in different ways. In the case of cutaneous anthrax or “bad pimple”, the bacteria enter through the skin, where it produces a lesion with the appearance of grain or injury that becomes an ulcerative lesion surrounded by vesicles and progresses to a black eschar that does not produce pain.

In the case of animals, they present an acute death with blood coming out of the natural orifices (mouth, nose and anus). With the blood, spores are released into the environment that remain in the soil and can be ingested by other ruminants when feeding.

The prevention measures are the vaccination of animals at risk, and it is also recommended “not to carry out the necropsy of animals suspected of carbuncle to avoid the spread of spores in the environment.”

“If the presumptive diagnosis of carbuncle arises after the opening of a corpse, measures must be taken to disinfect the elements used in it, as well as the clothing and footwear of the personnel,” they detailed.

They also asked not to manipulate or consume products derived from animals with signs of being sick or dead, and not to burn corpses “since this practice causes the spread of spores and favors respiratory infection.”

“The corpses must be buried and covered in the same place where they were found, following Senasa’s instructions,” they detailed.

“Early detection and immediate notification of anthrax cases are essential for the implementation of prevention, control and surveillance measures by the competent bodies,” they insisted.

Anthrax is a serious infectious disease caused by gram-positive, rod-shaped bacteria known as Bacillus anthracis. Anthrax can be found naturally in soil and commonly affects domestic and wild animals around the world. Although it is rare, people can get sick with anthrax if they come in contact with infected animals or contaminated animal products

Cutaneous  anthrax occurs when the spore (or possibly the bacterium) enters a cut or abrasion on the skin. It starts out as a raised bump that looks like an insect bite. It then develops into a blackened lesion called an eschar that may form a scab. Lymph glands in the area may swell plus edema may be present. This form of anthrax responds well to antibiotics. If untreated, deaths can occur if the infection goes systemic. 95% of cases of anthrax are cutaneous.