Published Date: 2012-07-13 18:43:22
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Anthrax, bovine - Germany: (ST)
Archive Number: 20120713.1200938
ANTHRAX, BOVINE - GERMANY: (SACHSEN-ANHALT)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: 13 Jul 2012
Source: Vetion [edited]
Anthrax in Sachsen-Anhalt
There have been at least 7 fatalities in a beef herd in Eastern Germany, due to anthrax. A cow was missing and was later found dead in the river Elbe, way down the river in Lower Saxony. The Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut (FLI) confirmed anthrax.
52385 Gut Laach,
[Anthrax is rare in Germany these days. The last outbreak, after a gap of 8 years with the previous outbreak (singular) in 1994, was in 2009 that followed upon some earth moving, heavy rains and flooding. Speculatively this outbreak may well be in the same traditional mode of grave disturbance that we see when the disease has effectively been eradicated. This is the same pattern that we see now in the UK of grave digging or of old tannery waste resurfaced. We looked forward to any information that our informed German veterinary colleagues can provide.
Our thanks to Sabine for forwarding this report and quick translation. - Mod.MHJ]
Date: July 13, 2012
Source: The Local
Anthrax outbreak kills cows, 50 people treated
An anthrax outbreak has left at least nine cows dead and 50 people on antibiotics in eastern Germany, authorities said on Friday. Experts fear the cause was infected dead animals buried where the cows were grazing.
Police pulled one of the dead cows out of the Elbe river on Thursday. [Nice picture for those interested. - Mod.MHJ] It had apparently fallen into the water after becoming separated from its 50-strong herd, which was being quarantined. The corpse floated some distance from Saxony-Anhalt into the neighbouring state of Brandenburg, where it was finally dragged out of the river by a team clad in protective gear.
"The current of the river is so strong, that the chances of a human getting ill from going in the water are slim," a spokeswoman for the Stendal area - where the herd was from - told The Local.
Chances of the bacteria being passed to other herds were also slim, said state vet Klaus Reimer. Transmitting the deadly spores was only possible through close contact, and the whole herd has since been isolated.
While the exact cause of the outbreak remains unknown, Heinrich Neubaue, head of the institute for bacterial infection and zoonotic diseases at the Friedrich-Loeffler Institute, said that the most common reason was animals grazing in a field where animals with anthrax have been buried. Because anthrax spores can live for decades, there was a chance that they could make it up through the ground and into the air.
An investigation will start on Monday to see whether dead animals are in fact buried where the affected herd grazed.
In humans, the bacteria is most commonly contracted by those who work closely with animals. Some 50 people thought to have come into contact with the cows prior to the outbreak have now been put on preventative antibiotics.
[The heavy rains and flooding in Europe at this time will float spores buried in an old 'anthrax' grave up to the surface. As old graves will sometimes have contained a number of carcasses, their decomposition produces a collapse of the soil column so that a depressed area can appear at the soil surface. This shallow 'basin' then stops any surfacing spores from floating away and are available to be consumed by drinking or grazing animals. - Mod.MHJ
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