Health officials in Indonesia report dozens of people in in Indonesia’s Yogyakarta province have been infected with anthrax, according to a Xinhua report.
One person has been confirmed dead from anthrax and 85 others have found to be infected after all of them consumed infected meat.
The Gunungkidul Regency Health Agency reports the fatality, a 73-year-old man, had died from anthrax after he had consumed meat from his own cow after it died from an illness.
Head of the Gunungkidul Regency Health Agency, Dewi Irawati said, “Then, we found that the patient also distributed the meat to dozens of other residents in his neighborhood. Thus, we did blood tests on 125 residents and found 85 of them infected.”
“Most of them have shown symptoms like diarrhea, sores on the skin, and small reddish lumps or swelling appearing on their hands. But now they have been taking antibiotics,” said the official.
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 bacterium, Bacillus 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: cutaneous, gastrointestinal and inhalation.
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