One dead from anthrax in Bhutan

In the Zhemgang province in Bhutan, at least one person has reportedly died of the pulmonary form of anthrax and approximately eight people have contracted its cutaneous form as of September 15.

The National Center for Animal Health has also reported that 25 cattle, eight horses and mules, four pigs and six cats have died since the outbreak began. It is believed that the outbreak occurred first in a group of cattle on a farm near the village of Bloktong, according to

In the second week of July, dried meat from the herd was taken to a group of construction workers in a neighboring village. A pig that had eaten some of the meat fell dead just weeks later. Then, seven of the cattle from the herd fell ill and died. By that time meat from the herd had been sold to and consumed by other villagers, reports.

The cattle’s owner and the villagers who ate or dressed the meat began developing lesions and complaining of swelling in the arms and legs, as well as abdominal pain. One person, who later died, complained of a heaviness in his chest.

At the end of August, two more herds reported outbreaks. Blood tests by the Regional Livestock Development Center in Zhemgang and the National Center for Animal Health determined that anthrax was the cause, reports. Since then, meat from the infected animals has been disposed of and animals have received antibiotics.