Bangladesh begins vaccinating cows to fight anthrax outbreak

Officials in Bangladesh are launching a cattle vaccination drive in response to an anthrax outbreak that has affected more than 120 people.
The outbreak of anthrax is one of nine that has occurred this year after beef from anthrax infected cattle was consumed by local villagers, AFP reports. This latest outbreak occurred in the northern dairy-farming communities of Sirajganj and Pabna.
In this latest outbreak, cows that had been affected by the disease were slaughtered and sold as meat to nearby villagers. Villagers in Bangladesh appear to be suffering from a cutaneous form of anthrax, which produces black, scab-like lesions on the skin. To date, no one has died as a result of the outbreak, according to AFP.
In making the move to provide vaccinations, officials are hoping to contain the outbreak. An education program designed to warn members of the community about the dangers of consuming infected beef is also planned.

Anthrax is a disease that may be passed from infected cattle to humans by ingesting meet from an affected animal. The disease can prove deadly in some forms and is passed by the dissemination of spores, which afflict the recipient. In the United States in 2001, five people were killed and 17 sickened when anthrax was sent through the mail.