Anthrax – Kyrgyzstan

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September 23, 2021 – There were 8 suspected cases of anthrax reported and of those 8, 4 were confirmed. There were no deaths recorded. All 8 individuals sought medical treatment. This occurred in the Suzak district of the Jalal-Abad region in Kyrgyzstan.

It is suspected that the individuals who had a suspected and confirmed case of anthrax consumed an ill cow that was likely to have carried the infectious disease. The cow was slaughtered on September 10, 2021 and approximately 100 individuals consumed the meat from this cow around this timeframe.

Investigation of the other individuals is still underway, according to the source. Symptoms from the individuals who have been infected with this bacteria have not been discussed in this source. The incubation period for anthrax is approximately 7 to 60 days as the individuals who reported feeling ill did so about 13 days after consumption.

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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