Published Date: 2012-06-24 18:58:31
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Anthrax, human, livestock - Bangladesh
Archive Number: 20120624.1179188
ANTHRAX, HUMAN, LIVESTOCK - BANGLADESH
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Jun 24 2012
Source: The Financial Express, Bangladesh [edited]
26 more anthrax infected people have been identified at Panchil and Ultadab villages in the Shahzadpur upazila in Sirajganj district in the last 6 days, District Sanitary Inspector Ram Chandra Shaha Milon confirmed to this correspondent yesterday [23 Jun 2012].
With the new cases, the number of total infected has risen to 67 in the district. Sources said they were infected after taking meat of a sick bullock and a sick goat, which were carrying the germ of anthrax disease. The bullock was slaughtered at Panchil Baza on 2 Jun 2012, and the goat was slaughtered at Ultadab village on 6 Jun 2012.
Doctors said the people who were involved in skinning and processing the sick bullock and goat would be infected within a few days.
A medical team from the Sirajganj health department visited the areas of the infected patients recently and prescribed them with the directive to continue the treatment. They also distributed some medicines free of cost, civil surgeon office sources said.
Civil surgeon Dr. Nazim Uddin Khan said people of the district are being infected with anthrax one after another due to lack of awareness about the disease. Though the people are being warned about the disease and have been asked not to take meat of any sick cow or goat, poor and extremely poor people are ignoring the directives and taking meat of sick cattle or goats.
He further said, there is nothing to fear over the disease, because it is curable. However, he urged the people not to slaughter any sick animal.
Locals also complained that due to lack of proper vaccination, many cattle in the areas are being infected with the disease, and then people are being forced to slaughter such sick animals.
[An investigation by myself and Antonio Fasanella with our Bangladeshi colleagues into the epidemic of 2009-2010 revealed that the most probable cause was contaminated livestock feed. That epidemic as well as those of 2011 and 2012 are in the monsoon season when the countryside is flooded and there is no livestock grazing. As a result, the stock are hand fed and, logically, with contaminated feed. This was confirmed in 2011. In addition, the affected districts have clay soils, and nowhere can anthrax spores survive in or on clay soils, especially when they are flushed with seasonal flooding. The paper reporting this investigation is due out anytime now in the Epidemiology & Infection journal.
Investigations are in hand to confirm that their livestock feeds and especially the bone meals that they contain are contaminated. Control can then switch from annual vaccination to ensuring that any and all bone meals utilised in Bangladesh are sterile, a simpler and more cost effective procedure than vaccination.
To find the district of Sirajganj, go to: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/middle_east_and_asia/bangladesh_pol96.jpg. - Mod.MHJ
A HealthMap/ProMED-mail map can be accessed at: http://healthmap.org/r/1yvE, http://healthmap.org/r/1yvE.]