Bangladesh announces plans to fight anthrax outbreak

The Fisheries and Livestock Minster of Bangladesh, Latif Abdul Biswas, announced on September 19 plans to fight an outbreak of anthrax before the end of the Ramadan fasting period, including the creation of a National Steering Committee.

The committee plans to meet immediately following an inter-ministerial meeting composed of 25 representatives from the ministries of livestock, health, the environment, domestic and foreign affairs and the Dhaka City Corporation, according to

The committee’s function will be to ensure that the various ministries can function together properly to fight the anthrax outbreak by properly dealing with the importation of cattle and the management of disease in the absence of direct control from the livestock ministry.

Health ministry officials also argued for the blanket vaccination of all cattle in the country in the wake of the outbreak.

Professor Nazrul Islam, a virologist and the former vice-chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University came out in support of the effort, but offered some suggestions.

"The livestock department should let us know about the effectiveness of the vaccine they are manufacturing," Islam told "Still, the government is taking strategies depending on the manifestation of the outbreak, which is not enough. The government needs to go for proper management system and strong monitoring following a sero surveillance."

Since August 18, 583 people in 12 administrative districts have been reported to have been infected with anthrax according to the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research.