Anthrax (Bacillus anthracis) reported in Corail, Petit-Goâve

As news spreads about a new outbreak of Anthrax, even as the country faces the threat of the chikungunya wave, fears about contamination and contraction have left people paranoid. Bacillus anthracis cases have been reported over the past few weeks in the localities of various sections such as the eight communal section of Petit Goave, Corail.


Assessments undertaken by local peasants estimate that 6 oxen have succumbed to the disease, and at least 9 humans have been infected. They urged the UCS-Goavienne and the local communal agricultural office to take urgent action to help eradicate the disease, which is impervious to heat, many substances for disinfection, drought, gamma and ultraviolet rays. Probably the most pressing part of the matter is that contaminated meat is being sold on the market, representing the threat of a widespread epidemic.

The disease, which cannot be spread from person to person, is caused by exposure to the spores from live or dead infected animals and their products. There are three known forms of contamination. Cutaneous contamination is rare in animals, but constitutes 95% of human infections. It is the result of contact between an open wound and the Anthrax spores. 5% to 20% of these infections result in death. Gastrointestinal contamination is the result of eating meat that is contaminated. This form can be treated, but fatalities from this form range from 25% to 60% of the cases. Respiratory contamination is brought on by inhalation of spores from contaminated particles. They represent only about 5% of the cases, but result in 90% to 100% fatalities.

There are vaccines and drugs for treatment, most of which, when administered early and for long periods in the correct dosage, can be efficacious.

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