Anthrax continues spreading in Bangladesh

Anthrax has spread in six districts in Bangladesh, prompting government officials there to cancel holidays and issue a red alert for the livestock department.

Health officials told that 19 new cases were reported in Meherpur and Chuadanga. This brings the total number of people affected by anthrax to 327 in the last 15 days.

Fisheries and Livestock Minister Abdul Latif Biswas announced the government red alert over the weekend, reports, adding that livestock department officials and civil surgeons have all been placed on high alert so as to be able to tend to the ill as cases are reported. Biswas also said that five lakh vaccines for cattle have also been sent out to the affected areas.

“The police and border guards are asked to keep vigil so that no sick cattle can enter the country,” Biswas told

Mohammad Shariful Alam, secretary to the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock, said that red alert was actually issued for the employees of the livestock department, not for the country.

“The Eid holidays of the employees of the department have been cancelled and the offices would be open round the clock," Alam told
"A control room has also been opened at the Department of Agricultural Extension."

The outbreak was reported in Sirajganj on August 20, in Pabna on August 22, Tangail on August 31, Kushtia on September 1 and Meherpur and Chuadanga on September 4, according to officials. Gangni Upazila Health Officer Dr. Zohurul Islam told that an additional 14 people may have contracted the anthrax in Debipur, Karamdi and Jhorpota villages.