Officials find source of anthrax in Armenia

Health officials in Armenia's Gegharkunik region announced on Wednesday that they had determined that the source of a recent anthrax case was the slaughtering of an animal in a Tsovak village.

Hovhannes Mkrtchyan, the veterinary inspectorate chief of the Armenian Agriculture Ministry, made the announcement during a press conference. The investigation determined that the animal was slaughtered in the courtyard of the village, which is located in the Vardenis district, reports.

A man with symptoms of anthrax went to a local hospital on October 15 after coming into contact with the infected meat of the animal.

"The circumstances showed that a courtyard (animal) slaughter was carried out, (and) as a result, that man was infected from the meat of the sick animal," Mkrtchyan said, according to

Mkrtchyan assured locals that there are no longer contaminated animals in Tsovak and that vaccinations were carried out in the neighboring villages.

Prior to the announcement, consumers were concerned about the safety of meat in northeast Armenia.

"If they resume selling (meat) we will, most probably, refrain from consuming for at least a while, because of our concerns of buying infected meat," Zhanna Gevorgyan, a Vardenis resident, said, according to Armenia Now.

After the first patient was hospitalized with anthrax symptoms, 14 more potential cases came forward. Health officials confirmed that nine of the patients were infected with anthrax while the tests of the remaining five came back negative, Armenia Now reports.