Anthrax outbreak declared in China

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    Anthrax is an acute disease caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Most forms of the disease are lethal. Credit: J.H. Carr, CDC

    At least three human anthrax cases have been reported in North-Central China, including one fatality. According to RFA, the outbreak in the town of Zhongwei, is linked to the consumption of tainted beef and mutton meat. Local authorities have reportedly implemented public health measures, including a quarantine of the livestock market, to prevent further spread of the disease.

    Skin anthrax lesion on the arm

    Anthrax is spread by contact with the bacterium’s spores, which often appear in infectious animal products, by breathing, eating, or through an area of broken skin. The infection does not typically spread directly between people. Inhalational anthrax, if left untreated until obvious symptoms occur, is usually fatal. It is classified as a category A bioterrorism agent.

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