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Two die after consuming anthrax-infected meat

Two die after consuming anthrax-infected meat

TWO people have died after consuming meat believed to have been contaminated by anthrax. Briefing reporters here on Thursday, Kilimanjaro Regional Commissioner, Mr Stephen Kagaigai said the incident happened at Mamsera area, Rombo District.

According to Mr Kagaigai, three cows were on October 6 this year slaughtered for human consumption, only to lately be discovered that they were infected with the disease caused by grampositive, rod-shaped bacteria, leading to the deaths.

“The area veterinary officer had given the cows a clean bill of health before they were slaughtered but it was too late to prevent the deaths,” he said.

The vet officer has since been placed under placed police custody. According to the regional commissioner the deceased had exhibited Anthrax symptoms, and had to be rushed to a hospital, but succumbed to it while receiving treatment.

“They were complaining of fever, sore throats and also vomited after partaking of the meat,” explained the regional boss. Others, who also feasted on the infected meat, are currently receiving treatment at a nearby health facility.

Mr Kagaigai urged members of the public to take caution when buying beef from butcheries.

“There are all indications that anthrax has hit the area, we therefore call for vigilance on meat enthusiasts,” appealed the regional commissioner. Mr Kagaigai also instructed cattle owners in the region to have their livestock tested by certified vets before slaughtering for human consumption.

Anthrax is an acute zoonotic bacterial infection caused by Bacillus anthracis, a gram-positive, sporeforming bacterium that is thought to survive for as long as decades in the carcasses and burial sites of infected animals.

It is transmitted to humans through handling or eating meat from infected animal carcasses, contact with their products such as hair, wool, hides and bones. Control of anthrax among humans depends on the integration of veterinary and human health surveillance and control programmes.

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Author: HECKTON CHUWA

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