Anthrax – Kazakhstan

August 27, 2021 – One (1) suspected case of Anthrax was reported in the village of Gorkovskoye in North Kazakhstan. The characteristics of the individual is not known. No death was reported.

The individual was hospitalize after presenting symptoms related to the infectious disease (specific symptoms not identified in the source). The individual was cutting the carcass of a cow prior to hospitalization and was infected during the process. It is likely that the individual had acquired the infection from the carcass of the cattle, which may indicate that the carcass was infected with anthrax.

Officials have placed more than 50 individuals under medical surveillance as they have been in close contact with the infected individual. The source of the infected cattle is currently being investigated.

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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