Anthrax outbreak reported in Bangladesh

At least 26 people, including two children, in a Bangladeshi village have contracted anthrax after eating beef or coming into close proximity with livestock.

Sanitary and health inspectors said the outbreak began after one cow and one buffalo were slaughtered on July 29. The meat was then sold to local villagers. It was later determined that the livestock had anthrax, and it is assumed that those in the village with anthrax contracted it from these animals, according to

Experts from the Dhaka’s Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research and the International Center for Diarrheal Research in Bangladesh are already in the area and are expected to visit the village today.

Meanwhile, the anthrax victims are reportedly not doing well. They have swollen bodies, are in severe pain and have developed lesions, reports.

Anthrax is caused by ingesting or inhaling or touching the bacteria Bacillus anthracis, or its spores. Approximately 80 percent of those who contract anthrax cutaneously survive. Between one-quarter to one-half of those infected with gastrointestinal anthrax and about half of those who have inhaled anthrax are expected to die. There are some treatments available, however, including the use of antibiotics, reports.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classifies anthrax as a Category A agent, meaning it has a high potential to be weaponized and used in a bioterror attack.