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Anthrax infects 15 tribals in Odisha

Friday, 27 June 2014

Bhubaneswar, June 27: At least 15 people, including a 14-year-old girl and two women, were infected by anthrax in Odisha after eating contaminated meat, an official said Friday.

The incident took place in Koraput district, about 500 km from state capital Bhubaneswar.

Fourteen of them are being treated at home, while one person was admitted to a hospital, Additional District Medical Officer Arun Padhi told IANS.

All victims showed symptoms of the illness after eating contaminated meat early this week. A laboratory test confirmed they were infected by anthrax, he added.

Padhi said while nine people, including two females, were infected in Bisarbandha village, six people, including one female, were infected in Lugum village, about 150 km away from Birsabandha.

Bisarbandha has a population of about 80 and the people had eaten the rotten meat of a buffalo. In tribal populated Lugum, which is home to about 215 people, the victims got infected after eating the rotten meat of a goat, he said.

Health and veterinary officials have rushed to the affected villages and carried out measures to prevent the spread of the disease, he said. Rotten meats have been seized and destroyed and cattle have been immunised, he said.

An awareness drive has been launched in other vulnerable places of the district, he said.

Anthrax is a bacterial disease that mostly affects animals and at times passes to humans if they eat contaminated meat. Antibiotics often cure the disease if it is diagnosed early.