Anthrax infects 76 more in Bangladesh

Seventy-six more people are thought to have contracted anthrax from livestock in Bangladesh.

Health and livestock officials in the Lalmonirhat region of Bangladesh are working to confirm the presence of anthrax in two locations - the Kisamot Harati village in the Sadar sub-district and in an undisclosed location in the Kaliganj sub-district, the Daily Star reports.

Officials have said that blood and tissue samples already been taken to a laboratory in the capital, Dhaka, and are currently being analyzed. They expect results within 24 hours, according to the Daily Star.

Of the 76 suspected cases, 66 are located in Kisamot Harati. According to authorities from the Institute of Epidemiology Disease Control and Research, the outbreak has lead to the confirmation of 337 cases of anthrax in humans as of September 6.

Anthrax is not new in Bangladesh, but authorities have been surprised by its prevalence this year. There have been significant numbers of people infected from different districts as well as sub-districts, leaving officials to speculate as to why.

"Especially before the Eid festival, a large number of cattle are transported from different areas without proper screening,” Dr. Abdul Baki, director of animal health at the livestock department, told the Daily Star. “Perhaps, new cattle from different districts and even from India were affected with the disease, which later spread among the people due to direct contact."