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150 cattle dead from anthrax in 3 villages in Turkey

Anthrax Alert

Anthrax was first found in cattle imported from Brazil before the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, causing the death of 50 cattle on a farm in Ankara province.

Hospitals in İstanbul and Sivas also detected anthrax in nine people who were sent for medical screening.

In another case in Bitlis, more than 100 cattle died in one day from anthrax.

According to reports in the Turkish media, the cattle import agreement with Brazil omitted a health inspection of the animals by Turkish officials.

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More than 100 hippos die in suspected anthrax outbreak in a national park in Namibia

A hippopotamus sits in the Limpopo river at the Pafuri game reserve on July 22, 2010 in Kruger National Park, South Africa.
Namibia was home to 1,300 hippos before this outbreak (photo from South Africa)
More than 100 hippos have been found dead in a Namibian national park, with authorities suspecting anthrax could be to blame.
The animals are believed to have all died in the last week in the remote Bwabwata National Park, in the country’s north-east.
One ministry official said Namibia had never seen anything like this before.
Anthrax is a deadly bacterial disease which is known to kill game, cattle, and sometimes humans.
Pictures from the area show dozens of dead hippos – some on their backs – lying in rivers with low water levels.
Colgar Sikopo, director of parks and wildlife management at Namibia’s Ministry for the Environment and Tourism, told the New Era newspaper previous outbreaks in Namibia had only killed a couple of hippos and elephants.
“This is a situation that we have seen before,” he said, explaining outbreaks like this “mainly occurs when the level of the river is so low”.
Namibia’s environment minister Pohamba Shifeta told news agency AFP that the country’s veterinary services were working on establishing the exact cause. He warned that the exact death toll could be higher due to the possibility that crocodiles may have eaten some of the carcasses.
Anthrax is caused by Bacillus anthracis and can be deadly – but usually it does not spread easily.
It largely survives as spores that hide away in soil for years before entering an animal through a cut or wound.
A previous outbreak in Uganda in 2004 left at least 180 hippos dead, while last year more than 2,300 reindeer died after being infected with anthrax during a heatwave in Siberia.
A child also died in the Siberian outbreak. Traditionally the people most at risk have been those who handle dead animals, such as abattoir workers.
Anthrax can be treated with antibiotics but treatment needs to start soon after infection.
Courtesy of BBC News

42 Hippos dead due to outbreak of disease in Ruaha National Park, Tanzania, Africa

An outbreak of anthrax has killed at least 42 hippos in south-central Tanzania’s famed Ruaha National Park, authorities said on Monday.
Christopher Timbuka, Ruaha Chief Park Warden said earlier investigation show the wild animals were killed by anthrax, an infection caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthraces.
According to the official, a survey carried between August and early September, this year, shows that death cases were found in three key areas, which are popular for hosting hippos in the sanctuary.
“This is the largest number of hippos to have been killed in the park by the disease,” Timbuka said, adding: “We’ve already sent samples of the dead hippos to the Chief Government Chemist Laboratory Agency for more investigation.”
He cited an acute water shortage in Great Ruaha River as one of the factors for an outbreak of the disease in the sanctuary.
“We’re perplexed with the limited water in the river, particularly during this dry season,” said Timbuka, adding that hippos in the park move upstream over long distances as the river dries up in the dry season.
“This forces them to congregate in large numbers in the few remaining areas along the river containing water of suitable volume and depth. And an outbreak of the infectious disease poses a deadly challenge to conservation,” the official said, noting that hippos are supposed to remain submerged in water during the day to prevent overheating and severe sunburn.
He, however, said measures have been taken to control the spread of the deadly disease in the park of about 20,226 square kilometres, the similar size with New Jersey, a state in the north-eastern and mid-Atlantic regions of the United States.
“Bacteria Bacillus anthrax is caused by a number of factors including the use of dirty water, in which for this case used by hippos in Ruaha River,” he said.
The park warden said last year five hippos and three giraffes died in the park, though it wasn’t clear on the cause of the deaths.
So far, the Tanzanian government has established a special task force aimed at finding a lasting solution to the ecology of Great Ruaha River, which is currently overwhelmed with anthropogenic factors, according to chief park warden.
“The task force is mandated to ensure that water flows in the river throughout the year,” the official said.
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Anthrax kills cattle in western South Dakota, USA

Anthrax is responsible for dead cattle in southeastern Pennington County, South Dakota, State Veterinarian Dr. Dustin Oedekoven confirmed Monday, Aug. 21.
At least nine adult cattle in the heard that had not been vaccinated against anthrax died suddenly last week.
Anthrax spores survive indefinitely in contaminated alkaline soils. All areas of South Dakota are susceptible to an outbreak, especially when there are significant climate changes such as drought, floods and wind, which can expose anthrax spores to grazing livestock.
The state advises producers to consider anthrax if their cattle die suddenly. Affected animals are often found dead with no prior illness detected. Suspicious cases should be reported immediately to a local veterinarian or to the state veterinarian at the South Dakota Animal Industry Board.
Anthrax can be passed to people and other animals, so producers should take precaution when handling, moving or disturbing carcasses. The state has strict quarantines and requires proper disposal of carcasses from livestock suspected to have died from anthrax.
Livestock can be vaccinated for anthrax. Producers are encouraged to visit with their veterinarians.
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300+ Buffaloes, plus Rhinos, Giraffes and other animals dead from outbreak of disease in Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya, Africa

Livestock Alert

In an update on the anthrax update at Lake Nakuru National Park in Kenya from July, Dr Kisa J. Z. Juma Ngeiywa, CVO Director of Veterinary Services with the Ministry of Agriculture in Nairobi reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health that the outbreak is ongoing and the number of animals affected has increased.
Ngeiywa notes the number of dead Cape buffaloes due to anthrax in Lake Nakuru National Park has reached 300. The park has a buffalo population of 4,500.
In addition, a number of other animals have been affected to include rhinos, Rothschild giraffes, elands, impalas, warthogs and Thomson gazelles.
Officials report the source of the outbreak is contact with infected animal(s) at grazing/watering near the lake shore, watering holes and the fence line since mid-July.
Kenya has applied the following measures to help contain the outbreak: Movement control inside the country, disinfection / disinfestation, quarantine, surveillance outside containment and/or protection zone, official disposal of carcasses, by-products and waste and surveillance within containment and/or protection zone.
According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, Anthrax is a zoonotic disease caused by the sporeforming bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Anthrax is most common in wild and domestic herbivores (eg, cattle, sheep, goats, camels, antelopes) but can also be seen in humans exposed to tissue from infected animals, contaminated animal products or directly to B anthracis spores under certain conditions.
Depending on the route of infection, host factors, and potentially strain-specific factors, anthrax can have several different clinical presentations. In herbivores, anthrax commonly presents as an acute septicemia with a high fatality rate, often accompanied by hemorrhagic lymphadenitis.
B. anthracis spores can remain ineffective in soil for many years. During this time, they are a potential source of infection for grazing livestock. Grazing animals may become infected when they ingest sufficient quantities of these spores from the soil.In addition to direct transmission, biting flies may mechanically transmit B. anthracis spores from one animal to another.
People can get anthrax by handling contaminated animal or animal products, consuming undercooked meat of infected animals and more recently, intentional release of spores.
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52 Bison dead due to disease outbreak in Wood Buffalo National Park, Canada

Bison on the road in Wood Buffalo National Park
Bison crowd a road in Wood Buffalo National Park, the largest national park in the country. (Submitted by Carolyn Matthews)
Parks Canada has confirmed that anthrax is to blame for the recent deaths of dozens of bison.
Fifty-two bison have died in the latest outbreak at the park.
“The risk to humans is very, very low,” said Stuart MacMillan with Parks Canada.
“What we advise people to do is if they do see a carcass, don’t approach it, report it to the Park office so that we know where it is.”
MacMillan says most of the bison have died in remote areas, which virtually eliminates the risk to humans.
Parks officials believe the worst is over, now that the weather has turned cooler.
They say dry, hot weather earlier this summer allowed the anthrax spores to surface, creating prime conditions for an outbreak
“As conditions become a little bit less dry and hot over the course of the summer, as the summer proceeds and the days get a little bit shorter and perhaps we get some cooler weather, we already feel like we’ve passed the peak of the outbreak,” MacMillan said.
“We’ll continue to do surveillance to see if that’s true.”
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