Russia taking measures to prevent more anthrax outbreaks

Officials with the health ministry’s press office in Belarus, Russia, said they are taking measures to prevent further anthrax outbreaks in its rural provinces.

An anthrax outbreak killed one man in Russia’s Omsk province in southwestern Siberia on August 8, officials told

Earlier this month, another man died and five more were hospitalized after contracting anthrax at a farm in the Omsk region that supplied horse meat for pelmeni - a Russian meat-filled dumpling - sold in Moscow.

Gennady Onishchenko, head of the Federal Consumer Protection Service, told that the six victims fell ill after being hired to cut meat from diseased animals. He reported that horses started dying at the farm in June, but the farm's owners hid the deaths.

Approximately 2.5 tons of horse meat with anthrax was supplied to Darina, a pelmeni producer. Onishchenko told that the meat was confiscated, as were shipments of the company's pelmeni in the Moscow, Omsk, Tyumen, Sverdlovsk and Tver regions.

Approximately 127 local residents who worked at the facility have also been placed under medical observation.

The fatality rate without quick antibiotic treatment after inhaling anthrax spores is as high as 80 percent.

Anthrax mainly affects wild and domestic lower vertebrates like cattle, goats and other herbivores, but can also infect humans. When anthrax infects humans, it is usually due to an occupational exposure to infected animals or their products. Those infected will suffer nausea, vomiting of blood, abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea and weakness.