Anthrax outbreak causes quarantine of Indian village

Anthrax spores can survive for 150 years. | Image courtesy of BioPrepWatch.com

Indian health officials quarantined a village of roughly 30 houses in the Jharkhand's Simdega district on Monday after an Anthrax outbreak killed seven people.

The infection has been traced back to a dead cow. Those who had eaten or handled the remains of the cow were infected. 

"This is probably India's biggest outbreak in terms of casualties in recent years," Shah Hussain, an outbreak specialist for India's National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), told the Hindustan Times.  "The NCDC has sent a specialist epidemiologist to study threats and suggest precautions," 

At this time, the only people allowed to enter or exit the village are health officials and medical personnel.

Anthrax spores are able to survive for up to 150 years. More than likely a local hotspot was disturbed by grazing animals.

Symptoms of anthrax exposure include fever, chills, shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting if inhaled. Anthrax is considered a tier 1 biological threat by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the same level occupied by filoviruses such as Ebola, Marburg and smallpox. Agents in this tier have a high mortality rate and/or are easy transmittable.

Organizations in this story

National Centre for Disease Control - India New Delhi, DL

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