NewsDesk @bactiman63

Ten people have been admitted to hospitals for anthrax in Kisii County, according to local media. This follows an animal anthrax outbreak in the area.

Image/Robert Herriman

Many of those hospitalized are said to had feasted on meat from an infected carcass.

“We advise residents against consuming any meat from the carcass, if we are to mitigate human casualties,” County Agriculture executive Magret Obaga said.

Local agriculture officials say at least 13 cows died from the bacterial infection.

Kisii County prepares to commence vaccination of all livestock in Bobasi Sub County in an effort to tame the spread of anthrax in the area.

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 bacteriumBacillus 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.

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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.