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Anthrax scare in reserve after death of buffaloes

  • Category
    Environment
  • Published
    30th Oct, 2019

Veterinarians have confirmed anthrax as the cause of death of two Asiatic water buffaloes in central Assam’s Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, which has the highest concentration of one-horned rhinos in the world and is often called ‘Mini Kaziranga’ due to similar landscape and vegetation.

Context

Veterinarians have confirmed anthrax as the cause of death of two Asiatic water buffaloes in central Assam’s Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary, which has the highest concentration of one-horned rhinos in the world and is often called ‘Mini Kaziranga’ due to similar landscape and vegetation.

About

  • Anthrax is a serious infectious disease caused by gram-positive, rod-shaped bacteria known as Bacillus anthracis.
  • Although it is rare, people can get sick with anthrax if they come in contact with infected animals or contaminated animal products.
  • It can occur in four forms: skin, lungs, intestinal, and injection.
  • The symptoms of anthrax depend on the type of infection and can take anywhere from 1 day to more than 2 months to appear. All types of anthrax have the potential, if untreated, to spread throughout the body and cause severe illness and even death.

Symptoms

  • A group of small blisters or bumps that may itch
  • Swelling can occur around the sore
  • A painless skin sore (ulcer) with a black center that appears after the small blisters or bumps. Most often the sore will be on the face, neck, arms, or hands.

Types of Anthrax

  1. Cutaneous: Most common form of anthrax infection, and is considered to be the least dangerous. Infection usually develops from 1 to 7 days after exposure.
  2. Inhalation: Inhalation anthrax is considered to be the most deadly form of anthrax. Infection usually develops within a week after exposure, but it can take up to 2 months
  3. Gastointestinal: Gastrointestinal anthrax has rarely been reported. Infection usually develops from 1 to 7 days after exposure.
  4. Injection:This type of infection has never been reported.

Who Is At Risk

Anyone who has come in contact with anthrax spores could be at risk of getting sick. Most people will never be exposed to anthrax. However there are activities that can put some people at greater risk of exposure than others.

  • People Who Handle Animal Products
  • Veterinarians
  • Livestock producers
  • Travelers
  • Laboratory Professionals
  • Mail handlers, military personnel, and response workers who may be exposed during a bioterror event involving anthrax spores

Prevention

  • Antibiotics can prevent anthrax from developing in people who have been exposed but have not developed symptoms.
  • Ciprofloxacin and doxycycline are two of the antibiotics that could be used to prevent anthrax.
  • People who have been exposed to anthrax must take antibiotics for 60 days. This will protect them from any anthrax spores in their body when the spores are activated.

A History of Anthrax

  • Anthrax is thought to have originated in Egypt and Mesopotamia.
  • Anthrax may have caused what was known as the fifth plague, described as a sickness affecting horses, cattle, sheep, camels and oxen.
  • Ancient Greece and Rome were also well acquainted with anthrax.

Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary on the southern bank of the Brahmaputra in Morigaon district in Assam.
  • It is landlocked by Assamese villages from every side of it with the traditional Assamese culture.
  • It was declared in 1987, providing grassland and wetland habitat for the Indian rhinoceros.
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