By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) reported the confirmation of anthrax in a captive white-tailed deer herd on a Val Verde County premises on July 11, 2021.

Fawn whitetail deer. Image/Lynn Betts, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The premises is located in the south central portion of the county, north of Comstock, and has been quarantined. TAHC rules require proper disposal of affected carcasses on the premises prior to release of the quarantine.

This is the first anthrax case in Texas this year.

“The TAHC will continue to closely monitor the situation and provide updates as needed,” said Dr. Andy Schwartz, TAHC State Veterinarian and Executive Director. “Producers are encouraged to remain vigilant and consult with their local veterinary practitioner if they suspect their animals are exposed to anthrax or are interested in vaccinating their livestock.”

Anthrax is a bacterial disease caused by Bacillus anthracis, which is a naturally occurring organism with worldwide distribution, including certain parts of Texas. Anthrax cases in Texas are most often found in portions of Crockett, Val Verde, Sutton, Edwards, Kinney and Maverick counties.

An effective vaccine for livestock is available and is commonly used in areas that are prone to have anthrax. To be effective, the vaccine must be used before the animal is exposed to the bacteria. There is no approved vaccine for deer.