The Vietnamese Administration of Preventive Medicine warned of anthrax outbreaks in humans in the northern mountainous provinces of Lai Chau, Dien Bien and Ha Giang.
The administration said anthrax cases have been reported in the provinces since June, with Lai Chau having the highest number at 12, including one death. It blamed local people’s unsafe eating habits for the transmission of the bacterium Bacillus anthracis, which passes anthrax from animals to humans.
In Dien Bien Province, the first anthrax case was reported after a resident slaughtered two buffaloes that had died from disease, and invited other villagers to eat. The unidentified resident also sold the meat of nine sick buffaloes.
Provincial authorities have sent health officers to affected areas to raise public awareness of anthrax and measures to prevent the disease. Information on home remedies is also being provided to ethnic minority communities in the province.
The disease commonly infects wild and domesticated mammals that ingest or inhale the spores while grazing. Diseased animals can spread anthrax to humans, either by direct contact (e.g., inoculation of infected blood to broken skin) or by consumption of a diseased animal’s flesh.
Anthrax can enter the human body through the intestines (ingestion), lungs (inhalation), or skin (cutaneous) and causes distinct clinical symptoms based on its site of entry. Symptoms include cold, fever, boil-like skin lesions and severe diarrhea.
Source: Thahn Nien News