Biological Health Hazard – Anthrax (Human, Bovine): Masvingo Province, Zimbabwe
ANTHRAX – ZIMBABWE (02): (MASVINGO) HUMAN, BOVINE
Published Date: 2016-03-04 13:37:43
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Anthrax – Zimbabwe (02): (MV) human, bovine
Archive Number: 20160304.4069315
Date: Thu 3 Mar 2016
Source: AllAfrica, New Zimbabwe report [edited]
At least 22 villagers in Mukore area [Bikita District of Masvingo Province] were hospitalised after consuming anthrax-infected meat last week [week of 22 Feb 2016]. Dr Amadiouf Shamu, said the affected villagers had since been treated and discharged from Silveria Mission Hospital [Nyika]..
“We received reports of villagers in Mukore area who were hospitalised after consuming beasts that had succumbed to anthrax when they shared the carcass in a beef committee. All the affected villagers have been treated and discharged and, as we speak, the veterinary department officials are in the area on an anthrax vaccinating campaign,” Dr Shamu said.
Anthrax is a disease caused by the bacterium _Bacillus anthracis_. Most forms of the disease are lethal and it affects grass-eating animals. It can be transmitted to humans through contact with infected meat and the general symptoms in humans include nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain, headache loss of appetite, severe fever, and bloody diarrhoea in the later stages of the disease. If untreated, anthrax can cause death.
Dr Shamu urged villagers not to consume meat from animals that had succumbed to natural causes [for example, anthrax]. “It’s not advisable for people to eat meat from animals that died of natural causes,” said Shamu. “Their carcasses should be burnt and people should always vaccinate their cattle to avoid such incidences,” he said.
[Maps of Zimbabwe can be seen at http://www.un.org/Depts/Cartographic/map/profile/zimbabwe.pdf and http://healthmap.org/promed/p/9993. Masvingo is in southeast Zimbabwe.
Masvingo is regularly afflicted with bovine outbreaks: 2015 (58), 2007 (11), 2008 (2), 2009 (3), 2010 (9), 2011 (1), 2012 (7), 2014 (15). They appeared to have been spared in 2015. The Zimbabwean veterinary services have been chronically underfunded for years. And as a result, the national situation can only get worse as it staggers along. – Mod.MHJ]
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