Anthrax outbreak in the Philippines

Two villagers in a remote Philippine village have died from suspected anthrax infections and approximately 150 more have been hospitalized.

The infected were rushed to the Cagayan Valley Medical Center and the Lasam General Hospital in Tuguegarao City following what is believed to be the ingestion of contaminated animal meet.

Reports out of the San Pedro village, located in Lasam town, are that the villagers ate spoiled meat, leading doctors to fear that the infections could be even more wide spread.

“The spread [of the disease] has developed into epidemic proportions but we are now doing all we can to contain the situation," Danilo Alonzo, Cagayan health officer, told

According to Carlos Cortina, Cayagan deputy health officer, the victims have all been linked to meat consumed from a dead carabao, a domesticated subspecies of water buffalo. The poor, a health official said, are often victimized by profiteers trading in such cheap meat with unknown sources.

“This incident is not new in the area considering that the same kind of bacteria has infected several residents of the same town last year," Cortina told “We already sent out advisories as early as last year that the public should not eat meat of dead animals because the bacteria stays in the soil for a long time and both grazing and gnawing animals are easily infected by the anthrax’s spore."

Anti-anthrax medications, antibiotics and other medicines have been given to the patients and villagers and funds to mitigate the spread of anthrax are prepared to be released by the provincial government.