Biological Hazard – Anthrax
Asia - India | State of Orissa, Sundargarh
Bio-hazard Level: 4/4 Hazardous
Location: N 22° 7.200, E 84° 1.800
Biological Hazard in India on Friday, 31 October, 2014 at 04:49 (04:49 AM) UTC.
Sundargarh district administration seems to be oblivious of the anthrax scare which has gripped the adjacent Bano block of Simdega district in Jharkhand. Sources said tribals from Bano village, which has reported seven deaths due to the disease in 13 days, continue to frequent the border pockets of Sundargarh while the district Health Department seems to have turned a blind eye to the impending danger. Though the situation is claimed to be under control, fear of the disease spreading to the border villages of Sundargarh looms large after 10 patients undergoing treatment at Sadar Hospital in Bano reportedly escaped. Reliable sources said about 16 days back, villagers of Karuchdaga of Bano had processed the carcass of a cow and later consumed it. Two patients died on October 15 and another perished next day while local health authorities failed to identify the disease. A medical team led by Civil-Surgeon-cum-Chief-Medical-Officer Dr ADN Prasad took charge of the situation. Between October 18 and 20, four more patients succumbed to the disease. Reportedly seven of the 10 quarantined patients fled the hospital on October 23 and the rest three on Monday. After blood samples tested anthrax positive at RIMS, Ranchi, a team of doctors of Centre for Disease Control (CDC) took stock of the situation on Sunday. Simdega-based District Magistrate and Deputy Commissioner Diprava Lakra said the situation is under control and teams have started providing preventive medication to vulnerable persons along with vaccination of animals in a radius of five kms. He said a ban has been imposed in the block on sale of meat for next 15 days. Dr Prasad said normally human to human contact is not risky but human to animal contact carries the risk of transmission of the disease. He said anthrax is spread by contact with spores and affected persons with itchy skins or sores could be potential threat to humans who come in their contact. Last month, a person died of anthrax at Hathibari area of Nuagaon block in Sundargarh. No monitoring process has been put in place even though tribal vegetable vendors from Bano visit Rourkela city daily. Many from the affected area also frequent their relatives and friends in Nuagaon. Sundargarh Chief District Medical Officer Dr Basant Nayak said he would ask the authorities of Public Health wing to take necessary steps in this regard.
Tuesday, 28 October, 2014 at 04:16 (04:16 AM) UTC.
A two-member team from National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) today confirmed an anthrax outbreak in Kuruchdega village, Simdega, based on earlier RIMS pathological test reports and on-the-spot findings. Though an expert team of the state health department had visited the area last week following reports of mysterious deaths of seven villagers, it had been waiting for the NCDC’s formal confirmation. Dr Shah Hussain, outbreak mentor of NCDC, reached Kuruchdega village on Sunday while his colleague Dr Priya Kant joined him this morning. State integrated disease surveillance programme officials said that the team would spend a few weeks in the area for further investigations. Dr Ramesh Prasad, director of state integrated surveillance wing, said: “According to our daily updates, things are completely under control. There is no need to worry. The only thing we must ensure is sustained treatment for victims.” At Kuruchdega, after the seven deaths focussed media attention, 10 other persons who displayed “puzzling symptoms”, finally received correct treatment and are on their way to recovery. Anthrax, a potentially lethal disease, is caused by bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Spreading through spores, it infects cattle through grazing and transfers to humans via touch, blood or flesh. Symptoms include cold and flu that escalate to pneumonia and respiratory collapse, and more rarely, severe gastro-intestinal disorders. Ambiguous symptoms can delay diagnosis. Simdega civil surgeon A.D.N. Prasad said they were now working on a “sort of quarantine” to prevent the disease from spreading. “Technically, one can’t quarantine a village as the mobility of humans or for that matter cattle can’t be tracked and restricted 24/7,” he conceded, but added they were currently working out some modalities. From October 22-23 onwards, two antibiotics – Ciprofloxacin and Doxycycline – have been distributed to all villagers, including those undergoing treatment, as a precaution. “A team of four healthcare personnel, including doctors and ANMs, is keeping daily tabs,” he said.
Biological Hazard in India on Thursday, 23 October, 2014 at 15:27 (03:27 PM) UTC.
At least seven persons died of suspected anthrax in the past two months at Tungri Tola basti in Simdega district, a senior health official said. In the presence of Chief Secretary Sajal Chakraborty here today, Director Medical Services Dr Suman Mishra said, “Seven persons had died in two months.” Dr Ramesh Prasad, Director of State Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme, said samples were sent to Delhi for pathological test to confirm whether the deaths were caused by anthrax. He said two persons died on October 18, and the symptoms on the bodies suggested anthrax. “The people, mostly tribals, said when a couple of bullocks died they ate their meat,” Prasad said. Thereafter, they were afflicted with symptoms later on, Prasad said, adding the basti has a total of about 23 families. The victims also vomited blood, complained chest and stomach ache after consuming the animal meat, he added. “The symptoms showed that the disease is in the category that is curable,” he added. The chief secretary, who visited the place today, said preventive measures were taken like providing antibiotics to the people of the basti, keeping kerosene and wood to burn cattle carcasses and restricting cattle from moving to adjoining areas.
Biological Hazard in India on Wednesday, 25 June, 2014 at 08:54 (08:54 AM) UTC.
Four persons have been affected by anthrax in a tribal village of Koraput district. They are Hari Bhagatayat, 55, Sunadhar Sisa, 45, Bulu Kirsani, 48, and Samara Sisa, 30, of Lugum in Lamataput block. While Kirsani and Sisa are being treated at Lamataput hospital, the other two are admitted to a private hospital in Lamataput. Sources said the affected villagers had killed a sick goat a few days ago and eaten its meat which might have led to the outbreak of the disease. “Patients have abnormal swellings and boils on their body, which are symptoms of anthrax. At present, the situation is under control with teams of doctors and health workers monitoring the situation and visiting the affected village,” said chief district medical officer (CDMO) of Koraput Laxmi Dhar Kabi. The fresh cases of anthrax sparked off a debate on the effectiveness of the administration’s strategy to contain the disease. “Each year fresh cases are reported in the district. Vaccination of cattle has not started except in a couple of blocks. The awareness drive against the disease is a non-starter but officers attribute it to the lifestyle of tribals,” said Bhabani Mishra, a Koraput based campaigner. Officials countered that the drive against anthrax was progressing well. “The veterinary department has started vaccination of cattle. Awareness drives have been taken up in rural areas by health officials and voluntary organizations,” the CDMO said.
Biological Hazard in India on Tuesday, 27 May, 2014 at 16:55 (04:55 PM) UTC.
Anthrax scare has gripped the people of Junglejodi village under Dandabadi gram panchayat in Boipariguda block of Odisha’s predominantly tribal Koraput district following the death of three persons due to the killer disease by Monday. Several others have been affected by the disease, reports from the area said. Three days ago, one Besu Khara died after being afflicted by anthrax, while Pulka Khara and Damu Pangi perished on May 18 and 11 resepectively, said villagers of Junglejodi. Health department official,s while confirming the death of Damu Pangi due to anthrax, said the exact cause behind the deaths of Besu and Pulka were yet to be ascertained. Two more persons – Ratanu Pangi and Bedru Pangi – suspected to be afflicted with anthrax reported at the Boipariguda health centre Monday for treatment. Ratanu was shifted to the district headquarters hospital at Koraput after his condition deteriorated. Reports said some anthrax patients had also reported at the health centre at Ramgiri on Monday. According to the anthrax patients, they were afflicted with the disease after they had consumed dried beef. Dr Sudhanshu Sekhar Prusty said medical teams from Boipariguda hospital have left for different areas of Dandabadi panchayat to treat anthrax patients. tI may be mentioned here that while most of the villages in the area are located inside dense forests, the residents are mostly tribals. Lack of awareness is considered to be the main reason behind the spread of anthrax among the tribals.
Source: RSOE EDIS