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Biological Health Hazard – Anthrax (Human, Bovine): Bangladesh


Published Date: 2016-05-17 16:38:46
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Anthrax – Bangladesh (02): (RS) human, bovine, more cases
Archive Number: 20160517.4227714

Date: Tuesday 17 May 2016
Source: The Daily Star [edited]

A total of 40 more people are reported to have been infected with anthrax in the last 24 hours in a single village at Ullapara upazila in Sirajganj, according to the upazila health office.

This is the 2nd consecutive incident of anthrax infection to humans in the district in a couple of weeks. As many as 87 people have so far been infected, according to the district health office. The number of probable cases may increase as many people have reportedly come in contact with infected animals or contaminated meat, health officials say. “A total of 3 sick animals were butchered in Koroi Shartoil village last week [9 to 15 May 2016]. Villagers bought the meat of the animals at cheap rates and got infected after consuming the meat,” Dr Sukumar Roy, upazila health and family planning officer, said. A medical team visited the village on Sunday [15 May 2016], identified the 40 affected people and gave them necessary treatment. The medical team is working in the village to find out more probable cases, he added.

Of the infected, [2 individuals] are allegedly responsible for the recent outbreak, according to upazila health complex and upazila livestock officials. “They slaughtered 3 infected animals last week and sold the meat among villagers. The people who came in contact with that meat have been infected,” Dr Sukumar observed.

The livestock department has started a vaccination program for the animals in the affected village and a team is also working to monitor the situation.

Talking to The Daily Star, Md Humayun Kabir, statistics officer of the Civil Surgeon’s Office in Sirajganj, said this is the 2nd consecutive outbreak of anthrax in the district. As many as 87 people in 3 upazilas have so far been infected in the last couple of weeks, he added. Earlier, 47 people in Shahjadpur and Kamarkhand upazilas were infected from animals. Of them, 29 were infected in Jamtoil village of Kamarkhand upazila and 18 were infected in Koizuri village of Shahjadpur upazila of the district between 5 May and 10 May [2016], he added.

Civil Surgeon Shahed Mohammad Sadekul Islam said apart from providing treatment to the affected, the district health office has also started generating awareness among the locals. He suggested that people should avoid slaughtering any sick animals as well as consuming their meat. Anthrax is an infection caused by a bacterium called _Bacillus anthracis_. It is a common livestock disease. Symptoms begin between 1 day and 2 months after contacting the infection.

Immunizing animals against anthrax is recommended in areas where there is a history of previous infections. The disease can be transmitted to humans if people get them exposed to infectious cattle or consume meat of any butchered infected animals.

[Byline: Pabna]

Communicated by:
ProMED-mail from HealthMap Alerts

[As many as 3 essentially coincident clusters in separate upazillas in such numbers would be hard to ascribe to a single butchering. I think we can presume that 3 separate bovine outbreaks have occurred which through thoughtless carcass butchering and dispersal of the cheap contaminated meat have resulted in these 87 human cases. To have 3 similarly timed bovine outbreaks is more commonly seen with the use of a common contaminated cattle feed. While Jamtoil is only 12.5 kms [approx. 7.5 mi] northeast of Ullapara, essentially halfway between Ullapara and Sirajganj, if it had been fly flown we would have expected to have seen outbreaks in the intervening villages of Kornosuti and Pancha Krushi, which to date have not reported cattle deaths. Hopefully some feed is still available for testing. There is a useful map in the newspaper report.

In my experience the characteristics of a contaminated feed series of anthrax outbreak are that the area affected is coherent, the dates cluster within a 3-week period, and the locations jump back & forth (reflecting the purchase and dispersal of a batch of feed). I have proposed this for Bangladesh before but it has yet to be confirmed by the identification of contaminated feed, though series attempts have been made. – Mod.MHJ

A HealthMap/ProMED-mail map can be accessed at:]

See Also

Anthrax – Bangladesh: (RS) human, bovine 20160514.4222230

Anthrax – Bangladesh (05): (KH, RS) human, bovine 20130907.1929746
Anthrax – Bangladesh: (RS) human, livestock 20130312.1583076

Anthrax, human – Bangladesh: 2011 case notes 20120830.1273237

Anthrax, human, livestock – Bangladesh (10): (RS) 20110823.2562
Anthrax, human, livestock – Bangladesh (09): (KH) 20110718.2174
Anthrax, human, livestock – Bangladesh (08): (PB, SR) 20110618.1865
Anthrax, human, livestock – Bangladesh (07) 20110612.1795
Anthrax, human, livestock – Bangladesh (06): (SR) 20110610.1765
Anthrax, human, livestock – Bangladesh (05): (SR, PB) 20110607.1738
Anthrax, human, livestock – Bangladesh (04): (PB) 20110603.1698
Anthrax, human, livestock – Bangladesh (03): (SR, PB) 20110602.1686
Anthrax, human, livestock – Bangladesh: more cases 20110529.1648
Anthrax, human, caprine – Bangladesh: (PB) 20110515.1484
Anthrax, bovine – Bangladesh: (BA) NOT 20110505.1391
Anthrax, human, bovine – Bangladesh (24): Eid 20101111.4086

Anthrax, human, bovine – Bangladesh (09): (SR, PB) 20100831.3109
Anthrax, human, bovine – Bangladesh (08): (SR, PB) 20100828.3066
Anthrax, human, bovine – Bangladesh (07): (SR) 20100827.3044
Anthrax, human, bovine – Bangladesh (06): (SR) 20100826.3009
Anthrax, human, bovine – Bangladesh (05): (SR) conf. 20100825.2996
Anthrax, human, bovine – Bangladesh (04): (SR) susp. 20100824.2970
Anthrax, human, bovine – Bangladesh (02): (SR) 20100820.2914


Published Date: 2016-04-05 08:05:29
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Anthrax – India (06): (JH) Latehar incident
Archive Number: 20160405.4138343

A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseases

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