By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
In an update on the anthrax outbreak in Texas, the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) reported that 18 premises in 5 Texas counties have had animals confirmed with anthrax as anthrax has been detected on two new premises in Crockett County and two new Sutton County premises in the past week.
Animals include the following species: antelope, goat, horses, deer and cattle.
Martin Hugh-Jones, professor emeritus and veterinary epidemiologist at Louisiana State University, says a mix of bad ranching practices and a special climate have resulted in the recent anthrax outbreak.
“What you have this year is what we call a Texas paradigm – you have late spring, early summer, heavy rain, and this encourages the hatching of the biting flies,” Hugh-Jones says.
University of Florida associate professor of medical geography, Jason Blackburn says concerning the scope and size of the outbreak, “This year’s outbreak is massive, the size of the outbreak and the geographic extent is large. It is on a much wider scale than it has been in previous year. We have some older veterinarians that are saying this may be one of the worst outbreaks of their career.”
Other large outbreaks took place during 2001, 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2016.
There is an effective anthrax vaccine available for use in susceptible livestock (includes but is not limited to, swine, equine, sheep, goats, cattle, etc.). TAHC encourages livestock owners to consult with a local veterinary practitioner and consider vaccinating livestock in areas where anthrax is historically found in Crockett, Uvalde, Val Verde, Sutton, Edwards, Kinney and Maverick counties.