Published Date: 2008-07-24 20:00:27
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Anthrax, bovine - USA (03): (SD)
Archive Number: 20080724.2257
ANTHRAX, BOVINE - USA (03): (SOUTH DAKOTA)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Thu 24 Jul 2008
Source: The Daily Republic (registration required) [edited]
Anthrax cases tracked in Hutchinson County
State Veterinarian Sam Holland said Wednesday [23 Jul 2008] that 2
outbreaks of anthrax -- one confirmed and a 2nd presumed -- are being
tracked in Hutchinson County in South Dakota. The specific locations
were not disclosed for either case.
Holland said in a news release that one case of anthrax was confirmed
Monday [21 Jul 2008] following the Saturday [19 Jul 2008] deaths of 3
cattle in a small unvaccinated herd. The infected Hutchinson County
herd, Holland said, was scheduled to be immediately vaccinated and
treated with antibiotics. Disposition of infected carcasses will be
handled under the supervision of the Animal Industry Board.
Holland said in a telephone interview Wednesday that another
"presumptive" outbreak of the deadly disease -- also in Hutchinson
County -- is currently being tested at South Dakota State University
labs. About 3 animals were lost in this suspected outbreak, he said.
Lab results on the suspected case will be released today, said
Holland, when test samples "come off culture." Holland said
presumptive cases of the disease are handled the same as positively
identified cases. "The confirmation doesn't make a lot of difference
to us -- the treatment of the herd is the same."
He said any confirmed case of the disease triggers a chain of events.
In addition to herd quarantine and treatment by area vets, Holland
said neighboring farmers are notified, as are area locker and meat
plants. "Everybody gets notification," he said. Cattle are treated by
"proper vaccination and treatment protocol, which is 2 times through
the (cattle) chute." Equipment and surrounding land is also
decontaminated and infected carcasses are burned and buried, under
his department's supervision, said Holland. Fire is typically is used
to cleanse land. Also, he said, "Ten percent bleach, or stronger, is
probably as effective a disinfecting agent as you can get."
The disease varies with the climate, Holland said. "We just like to
announce the 1st case every year," said Holland, "so that people are
aware of it because it's easy to forget and neglect to vaccinate."
He said his office recommends that livestock owners statewide
vaccinate their herds annually. The vaccine is effective and cheaper
than losing a herd or paying decontamination costs. Proper
vaccination, said Holland, "prevents the contamination of the soil
for future generations."
The primary concern for humans is bacterial infection of the skin
through a scratch or other abrasion. Those working near an infected
site are urged to take precautions including the wearing of boots,
gloves, and long-sleeve clothing. Contacting a physician is also
recommended, Holland said.
[Byline: Ross Dolan]
[It has been wet this spring in the Dakotas and so Sam Holland, SD
State Veterinarian in Pierre, and Susan Keller, ND State Veterinarian
in Bismark, have been looking for these 1st cases. There has been an
active extension programme in both states to maintain rancher
awareness and for them to get their stock vaccinated. Now we will
discover who did not vaccinate their stock. In spite of extensive
epidemics in recent years in both states some ranchers still believe
in the prophylactic power of prayer and procrastination, and put off
vaccinating until it is literally on their doorstep. I suppose the
good news is that if it weren't for idiots we veterinarians would
have little to do.
Cases will occur sporadically whether it is wet or dry. The
difference is that with wet years the excess female horseflies
feeding on the sick and recently dead animals will carry the
infection onto the next animal they feed on up to 3-8 kms away and
maybe the next after than. So instead of just one or 2 outbreaks in a
dry summer, one can have tens of herds and hundreds of animals affected.
Hutchinson County is some 52 miles ESE of Sioux Falls, SD. - Mod.MHJ
A map of South Dakota is available at: