Anthrax hits Jharkhand again, kills 2 and 16 hospitalized

Once again Anthrax has hit Jharkhand. This time the disease is haunting people of Simdega district in Jharkhand. According to latest updates, the acute bacterial disease has been reported to kill 2 men and has infected as many as 18 people in the town.

Two deaths includes Kanjim Tete (27) and Bhimsen Baghe (45), resident of Bandarchuwa Panchayat of Kolebira block in Simdega. Both the deaths occurred on 4th and 6th of May respectively. District Hospital reported that as many as 16 infected people have been hospitalised and 11 others are suspected to be infected with the disease.

Integrated Disease Surveillance Program (IDSP), the monitoring body for contagious diseases in the state reported that the outbreak has occurred after villagers consumed dead cattle meat a month back. Anthrax is caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis and it affects mostly animals. Although the disease isn’t contagious but it can be transmitted through consumption of infected meat.

“Initial reports received from the block development officer (BDO) speak of death of cattle within a short period of time a few days ago. The dead and infected had consumed and handled the animals. Initial reports suggest symptoms of anthrax,” said Dr Ramesh Prasad, director-cum-state surveillance officer of IDSP.

Dr Prasad added that disease is curable and effective vaccines against anthrax are available and the disease responds well to antibiotic treatment. Therefore, government has placed a Rapid Response Team (RRT) in the district that will start the treatment as soon as possible so that the disease doesn’t affect more people. Also, RRT will distribute free medicines in the area. In addition, the specimen collected will be sent to laboratories in Kolkata and Delhi for testing of any mutation.

Back in November, previous year, Anthrax had killed seven people in Bano block in Simdega district. That time it was reported that consuming dead bull meat contaminated the people with Anthrax. However, a special team of doctors from Delhi helped in containing the disease.

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  • Sri Aiyer Raju Sreenivasan

    Just in case people need help in getting Anthrax vaccine, they should get in touch with Prof. Rakesh Bhatnagar, Dean, School of Biotechnology, JNU. One can read his achievement(s) in this field here: You can contact him on 011-26742040, 26742651, 26742258.