Zimbabwe anthrax outbreak under control

The anthrax outbreak that hit two of Zimbabwe's districts is now under control, the nation's Veterinary Services Department has announced.

The announcement comes on the heels of increase vaccinations that inoculated more than 1,100 castle in the Seke district over the last week.

The farming areas of Seke and Selous were hit by the anthrax outbreak, which killed one person and 25 cattle. Seke's outbreak is now under control and the vaccinations have moved to Selous and Mhondoro.

"We have finished vaccination of animals in the Seke area and have moved to Selous commercial farming area," Dr. Chenjerai Njagu, Department of Veterinary Services deputy director field services, told Xinhua. "Today we expect to start vaccinations in Mhondoro communal area where we expect to vaccinate 100,000 animals," he added.

Njagu said that a shortage of vehicles in the Karoi district impeded monitoring and disease surveillance exercises meant to curb the disease.

"Under normal circumstances the department is supposed to carry routine farm inspections meant to alert farmers and pick diseases outbreak before they get out of hand," Njagu said. "Because of transport shortages we have been forced to ask our farmers to provide transport for our officers to and from the farms."

The anthrax outbreak was not reported early, Njagu said, and occurred in communal areas and some farms.

Anthrax outbreaks are normally recorded in Zimbabwe during the rainy season as sprouting grass brings the soil-borne disease from the soil.