Anthrax outbreak in Bulgaria

The Bulgarian Health Inspectorate has reported that two men being held in the isolation ward of a hospital in the Danube city of Ruse have tested positive for anthrax.

The two men, 70 years of age and 32 years of age, began to show symptoms of cutaneous anthrax infection after butchering a goat in the village of Chilnovo, Bulgaria, according to the Sofia News Agency.

The head of the Health Inspectorate told Sofia News Agency that these are the first incidents of anthrax in the Ruse region in the past 20 years.

Lab results from Chilnovo have yet to be fully reported, which means that it has not been confirmed that there is anthrax throughout the area.

Should the test results turn out to be positive, regional veterinary services will begin the process of vaccinating all of the animals in the village in order to stop any spread of the infection.

Anthrax is passed on to humans by coming in contact with the spore-forming bacteria Bacillus anthracis. Humans can become infected with anthrax from handling infected animal products, breathing in the bacteria’s spores and by digesting meat from infected animals.
The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention classifies anthrax as a Category A agent, one that poses the greatest possible threat to public health.