Cow diagnosed with anthrax in Texas

Courtesy of the Texas Animal Health Commission

A single cow in Jim Wells County, Texas, has tested positive for anthrax infection, according to a report released on Monday.

Anthrax is a bacterial disease that, when found in animals, usually includes acute fever and rapid death with bleeding from body openings. Infected bodies often seem bloated and decompose quickly.

There is a vaccine for livestock that may be susceptible to anthrax infection, and if an individual believes their cows have been exposed, a veterinarian or Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) member should be notified. Animal producers are directed to follow sanitation precautions to protect themselves when they must handle affected livestock or carcasses and to follow proper disposal and vaccination procedures to prevent the spread of the infection before ending quarantine.

“The TAHC will continue to work cooperatively with local veterinary practitioners and livestock producers to monitor the situation for possible new cases across the state," TAHC Assistant Executive Director for Animal Health Programs T.R. Lansford said. "Producers are encouraged to consult their veterinary practitioner or local TAHC office if they have questions about the disease.” 

Although this is the first documented case in Jim Wells County since the 1950s and the first case in Texas this year, the TAHC reports that anthrax cases typically are confined to an area surrounded by Uvalde, Ozona and Eagle Pass in Crockett, Val Verde, Sutton, Edwards, Kinney and Maverick counties.