Central Java treating five anthrax patients

The Moewardi hospital in Surakarta, Central Java, has begun treating five patients for symptoms of anthrax.

A hospital spokesman told TheJakartaPost.com that the five patients have been undergoing treatment since February 23 and that preliminary studies point to infection with anthrax.

“The indications are the wounds the patients have under their eyes, on their arms and feet,” the spokesman said, according to TempoInteraktif.com.

The hospital has collected samples from the patients and sent them for testing to a biomedical laboratory at the Sebelas Maret University’s Faculty of Medicine in Surakarta. Results are expected in as little as three days.

The five patients come from the same village in the Boyolali region, called Karangmojo, TheJakartaPost.com reports.

The spokesman said that their condition is improving after treatment. They have been given injections, ointment and oral medication. According to the hospital spokesman, the patients all suffer from cutaneous anthrax infections, which is not necessarily as severe as other forms.

“That’s why we don’t isolate them," the spokesman said, TheJakartaPost.com reports. "They won’t spread the disease to other people, unless they touch the wounds."

The other forms of anthrax are inhalation and gastrointestinal. There are distinct clinical symptoms present depending on the disease’s point of entry. Cutaneous anthrax is usually contracted through handling infected animals or their meat.