Anthrax found in 26 drinking wells in India

A group of students from Palamur University in Andhra Pradesh, India, found deadly anthrax bacteria in the ground water of more than 26 habitations during research for a project.
Pawan Kumar, the head of the department of microbiology, sent the students to nearby villages to obtain water samples of colored water from open water bodies to test in the laboratory. After examining the water, Kumar suspected that the samples contained Bacillus anthracis, the bacteria that causes anthrax. The Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology confirmed his fears, the Deccan Herald reports.
“The water has Bacillus anthracis bacteria which causes anthrax, a zoonotic disease that is transmissible to humans through handling or consumption of contaminated animal products,” Kumar said, according to the Deccan Herald.
The water samples were collected from Kodangal, Midjil, Papireddyguda, Khillaghanapuram, Atmakur, Aamanagallu, Lingala, Devarakonda and Alampur. The water had been contaminated from raw sewage, animal and blood products.
“The villagers in these places, even in a tourist spot such as Alampur, drink this water day in and day out," Venkat Reddy, a student, said, the Deccan Herald reports. "They are suffering from unknown diseases, many with ulcers so we want to go further and seek protected water for our people."
Humans can become infected with anthrax by handling products or consuming undercooked meat from infected animals. Infections can also occur from inhaling spores in contaminated anthrax products or in the intentional release of spores during a bioterrorist attack.