Published Date: 2010-05-26 14:00:03
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Anthrax, human, caprine - Colombia (04): (LG)
Archive Number: 20100526.1749
ANTHRAX, HUMAN, CAPRINE - COLOMBIA (04): (LA GUAJIRA)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Wed 26 May 2010
Source: Colombia Reports [edited]
Authorities in the north-west Colombian department of La Guajira
declared a state of emergency on Tuesday [25 May 2010] following an
outbreak of the infectious disease anthrax in the department's
capital city Riohacha.
So far, 77 people in La Guajira are known to have developed skin
lesions, one of the symptoms of anthrax contagion. Of these, doctors
have confirmed 3 cases. According to authorities, 2 people so far
have died from the disease.
Due to the outbreak, goat slaughterhouses in the region have been
closed, in the hope of preventing the spread of anthrax.
[Byline: Kirsten Begg]
[This communication may contain errors. The sudden increase from 25
suspected cases to 77 "known to have developed skin lesions" may
include the retrospective cases found in the current field enquiries.
But we now have 3 confirmed cases and 2 deaths. And this is a rural
problem being quoted as a Riohacha metropolitan problem. That there
is journalistic confusion does not it itself mean that the veterinary
and public health authorities are not on top of it.
But as my friend and ProMED colleague SB commented: "My guess is that
these Wayuu livestock, sheep, and goats, are heavily infected. These
people rely on these animals for food and now that they may be
slaughtered, or they think they will be, they are understating cases,
disappearing stock out of the eyes of the authorities, not declaring
anthrax cases amongst themselves although we already have 75 with it.
This is a very big outbreak." And patently it has been long standing.
An authoritative statement by our knowledgeable Colombian members and
colleagues would be appreciated. - Mod.MHJ]