Anthrax – Kazakhstan

July 13, 2021 (outbreak date not specified) -Three cases of anthrax infection were reported in the Kostanay region. Individuals are currently hospitalized. Demographic information of infected individuals was not reported in this source. No reported deaths.

The origin of the anthrax was found in cattle in a livestock farm located in Prirechnoye, Denisovskiy district. Anthrax is a bacterial disease that can be found primarily in soil. Infection occurs from direct contact with an infected anima, direct contact with contaminated soil, or inhalation of the anthrax spores. Symptoms include skin ulcers and/or trouble breathing. It is suspected that the three individuals came in contact with the infected animals by touch of inhalation of the spores. However, this is not confirmed in the source.

Officials report that current action includes urgent vaccination and quarantine efforts, disinfection of the environments from the infected animals, and close monitoring of vaccinated animals by veterinarians.

Photo: Bacillus anthracis from an agar culture with spores (blue).

Anthrax is an infection caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. It can occur in four forms: skin, lungs, intestinal, and injection. Anthrax is spread by contact with the bacterium’s spores, which often appear in infectious animal products.

The skin form presents with a small blister with surrounding swelling that often turns into a painless ulcer with a black center.

The inhalation form presents with fever, chest pain, and shortness of breath.

The intestinal form presents with diarrhea which may contain blood, abdominal pains, nausea, and vomiting.

The injection form presents with fever and an abscess at the site of drug injection.

Human anthrax is most common in Africa and central and southern Asia, though it can occur anywhere. Skin infections represent more than 95% of cases.

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