Anthrax cases on rise in nation of Georgia

At least 30 cases of anthrax have been confirmed in the ex-Soviet nation of Georgia this year, requiring authorities to increase safety measures against the deadly disease.

Georgia's Center for Infectious Diseases said that by the end of the year the country is likely to match 2011's total of 59 cases. The country experienced 28 anthrax cases in 2010, reports.

Naira Gogebashvili, a Tbilisi clinic expert, said that some patients became infected with anthrax because of violations related to the burial of sick animals.

"They should be buried in specially allocated ground, not in accidental places as it often happens," Gogebashvili said, according to Associated Press.

In one instance, a patient from Tsalka in southern Georgia contracted the disease during his cultivation of a potato field.

"I rubbed my hand and after several hours I saw that it's covered with sores," Alexei Alaichev, the patient from Tsalka, said, according to Associated Press. "It turned out that a cow that died of anthrax was buried nearby. They conducted a check and found out it was buried not deeply enough."

A majority of the cases have occurred in eastern Georgia near the Azerbaijan border. Authorities vaccinated all cows in the Gardaban region near the border after several anthrax cases were reported.