Meat in Bangladesh found to be tainted with anthrax

According to reports from Bangladesh, a large portion of the meat sold local markets - up to 35 percent - may be tainted with anthrax bacteria.

The Bangladesh government is currently combating separatist and Islamic militancy groups, as well as Al-Qaeda, and counter-terrorism experts fear that the anthrax outbreak may be connected to these groups, reports. The outbreak is putting severe strains on a government lacking the resources to fight such a dangerous epidemic.

The country, reports, seems incapable of marshaling the resources to fight the current outbreak and the disease is spreading. Anthrax was first detected in August in the Siraganj district, where 38 villagers fell ill after eating the meat from sickened cattle. It then spread to neighboring districts.

Officials are especially concerned due to the approach of the Islamic festival of Eid, which marks the end of the month of Ramadan fasting.

Restaurants in the capital, Dhaka, have begun to sell “California Beef” and “Texas Beef” at exorbitant prices, despite the assertions from customs officials that no single cow has been imported from United States by anyone in the country, reports.

Anthrax is highly contagious and can be acquired by simply handling the wool or hides of infected animals. It is considered to have a high potential to be used as biological weapon by terrorists groups because of is contagiousness, low survivability and lethality.