Bangladesh anthrax outbreak tops 600 infections

The anthrax outbreak in Bangladesh continues to climb, with the total number of infections now topping 600.

Officials told this week that four new cases have been recorded at Kamarkhand Upazila in Sirajganj. This brings the total number of cases in that district to 218 and the total number nationwide to 605.

Mohammad Humayun Islam, a statistics officer at Sirajganj civil surgeon's office, toled that health and family planning officer Mohammad Abdul Aziz identified the victims earlier this week.

Government officials said that they recently launched a vaccination program to combat the disease, but admitted that it will not be possible to run it across the country before Eid-ul-Azha, a holiday which falls in late November.

Livestock minister Abdul Latif Biswas told that it will probably take 15 days or more to complete the vaccinations in the districts.

“It will take much time and so the government will first run the vaccination program in 18 sub-districts under eight districts affected with anthrax,” Latif told

Latif said that a  25 member national steering committee, led by himself and a five member technical committee, led by a joint secretary of livestock ministry, was also formed to conduct anthrax control activities.

Latif told that the government also posted veterinary surgeons at 10 border posts to prevent any anthrax-infected cattle from entering into the country.