Anthrax infects 120 in Zambia

An outbreak of anthrax that has infected approximately 120 people was recently reported in the Chama District of eastern Zambia.

Dr. Kamoto Mbewe, a spokesman for the Zambian Ministry of Health, released a statement saying that the outbreak was most likely caused by an infected hippopotamus in the Luangwa River, according to

Mbewe announced that all of the anthrax patients recorded in the last week had a history of consuming or touching hippo meat.

“Areas bordering Chama or anyone who has consumed hippo meat in the recent past may be affected,” Mbewe said, reports.

Samples collected from the patients have been sent to a laboratory for analysis and a rapid response team is already in Chama District, according to Mbewe.

Mbewe urged the public not to panic because anthrax is treatable and the Ministry possesses ample supplies of medicine.

“A stakeholders meeting involving the Ministry of health, Ministry of Livestock and fisheries, a veterinary team from the University of Zambia and University Teaching Hospital laboratory team was held today,” Mbewe said, according to

The meeting resulted in the formation of a team of experts that was dispatched to the affected region.

People in the area who have come into contact with or eaten hippo meat in recent weeks and those who have developed skin swellings that appear at first to be insect bites but later ulcerate were told to seek medical attention immediately.