Siberian anthrax outbreak spreads

Two more hospitalised as outbreak claims thirteenth victim in three days

According to the Russian news outlet, Ria Novosti, two more people have been hospitalised after an outbreak of anthrax in Russia’s Altai Territory. Russian news reports suggested yesterday that ten people had so far been hospitalised; since then, two more cases have emerged and one death has been reported.

A mass vaccination program has been put in place to curtail the spread of the outbreak. The village thought to be the source of the outbreak, Druzhba, has a population of roughly 740 people who are now under quarantine and have been vaccinated in addition to the local livestock, which are thought to represent the cause of the spreading contamination.

Anthrax is fatal in about 40 percent of cases for gastro-intestinal infection. Inhalation is lethal in up to 90 percent of cases, but cutaneous infection is lethal in no more than 20 percent of cases if the victim gets early treatment, according to the Center for Biosecurity.

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