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Officials in Tharaka-Nithi County, in central Kenya are reporting an outbreak of suspected anthrax that sickened eight and killed one, according to a Daily Nation report. It is reported that all nine people contracted the dangerous bacterial infection from contacted with a tainted cow.

Image/Robert Herriman
Image/Robert Herriman

According to one man’s account–“The animal was almost dying when we slaughtered it”.

County chief officer in charge of medical services Mr Kimathi Njeru said a team of veterinary and public health officers have already visited the village for further investigation and public sensitisation.

“We have disinfected the area and advised the locals to report any case of a sick animal and avoid eating uninspected meat,” he said.

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.

Related: Anthrax: An interview with Dr Buddy Faries