Two sickened by anthrax in Russia

Health officials have reported anthrax cases in both animals and humans in Russia’s southern Krasnodar territory.

A spokesman for the Southern Regional Emergencies Center told Itar-Tass that the anthrax infections have been confirmed at a dairy farm in the village of Uspenskoye.

The spokesman also told Itar-Tass that two people have been hospitalized with suspected anthrax symptoms. The cases have not been officially confirmed yet. The spokesman also said that the health conditions of 30 other people who worked at the dairy farm are now being closely monitored.

The spokesman said approximately 20 to 30 infected cows have already been killed and their bodies have been incinerated.

Further measures, the spokesman said, are also being taken to prevent the spread of the disease.

The outbreak in southern Russia comes on the heels of a massive anthrax outbreak that is still ongoing in Bangladesh. To date, more than 500 people have now contracted anthrax from infected cattle.

Bangladesh health officials say hundreds of cattle have died across the country, adding that infected people are mostly suffering non-fatal wound-like lesions.

The disease is believed to have spread through the slaughtering of infected animals. Handling or eating the meat of the animals then spread anthrax to the human population. Cattle become infected by ingesting anthrax bacteria and spores that exist naturally in the soil.

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.