Suspected anthrax outbreak in Orissa, 25 ill

July 31st, 2010 - 12:26 am ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, July 30 (IANS) At least 25 people, including six women, and a child have fallen ill with suspected anthrax contracted from dead animals in Orissa’s Sundergarh district, health official said Friday.
The people found with the infection are residents of Dukatola village and its nearby hamlets, some 500 km from state capital Bhubaneswar, chief district medical officer Bikrant Kindo told IANS. “All of them are responding to treatments and recovering,” he said.

About two days ago two residents of the area came to the hospital with anthrax symptoms. “We sent health officials to the area and found more people having the similar symptoms,” he said.

Health officials including doctors are camping in the area and treating the patients at their homes, he said.

Blood samples of at least five patients were sent Friday to the Veer Surendra Sai (VSS) Medical college and Hospital at Burla in Sambalpur district, Kindo said.

Dukatola village and its nearby hamlets have a population of about 500 and most of them belong to Oraon tribe. Kindo said the villagers told them they had consumed the meat of dead animals recently.

Anthrax is a bacterial disease that mostly affects animals and spreads to humans through consumption of contaminated meat. Kindo said the district has a history of anthrax infections.

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