Texas records first animal anthrax case of 2012

Texas reported its first case of animal anthrax this week in a white-tailed deer found in Uvalde County.

No domestic livestock are believed to be affected, CBS19.tv reports.

"The TAHC will continue to closely monitor the situation for possible new cases across the state. Producers are encouraged to consult with their veterinary practitioner or local TAHC office about the disease," Dr. Dee Ellis, a state veterinarian, said, according to CBS19.tv.

Recent anthrax cases have been confined to a small area that is outlined by the towns of Eagle Pass, Ozona and Uvalde.

Anthrax is a deadly disease caused by the spore-forming Bacillus anthracis bacterium. The spores can infect animals and humans through the skin, lungs and the gastrointestinal system. Humans can become infected by anthrax from eating undercooked meat that comes from infected animals, breathing in anthrax spores from infected animal products and by handling products made from infected animals, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.

In 2001, anthrax was deliberately used as a weapon when it was spread through the United States postal service shortly after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks. The letters were laced with anthrax-containing powder and infected 22 people. Five people died as a result of the attacks, which targeted government and media offices.