A three-member team from the Defence Research and Development Establishment (DRDE) from Gwalior is visiting the Visakha Agency area on Friday for an epidemiological survey and research.

The team headed by Joint Director (biotechnology division) of DRDE A.K. Goel is coming here to investigate the cases similar to cutaneous anthrax that have been reported from Kudumusara and Kotagunnela villages under Korukonda PHC in Chintapalli mandal, District Medical and Health Officer U. Swarajya Lakshmi said at a press conference here on Wednesday. Two other types of bacteria of the anthrax group of bacillus would cause the disorder noticed in the two villages and they would mimic cutaneous anthrax, she said. This type of problem was mostly connected to coastal area and marine food.

Cutaneous anthrax cases have been reported from the Visakha Agency in the past and more recently 70 suspected cases were reported from Munchingput area bordering Orissa.

But tests revealed that the cases reported from the two villages a few days ago were not cutaneous anthrax cases and the death of three persons in March and one on May 2 at Kudumusara, and reported recently in some newspapers and news channels was not due to cutaneous anthrax.

“The skin lesions noticed on the patients are not having black necrotic spot in the middle of lesion, which is characteristic to cutaenous anthrax. The lesions are painful in centre while anthrax lesions are not painful. Also, sudden death of cattle (from whom the bacteria is transmitted to humans when the latter cut the flesh of infected animal), a symptom of anthrax, has not been reported from the two villages in the recent past”, Dr. Swarajya Lakshmi said. These conditions ruled out incidence of cutaneous anthrax, she said.

As soon as the incidence of cutaneous anthrax was reported in the press, the Additional DMHO of Paderu along with the Medical Officer of Korukonda PHC and staff visited the two villages on May 3 and found six cases in Kotagunnela and 10 in Kudumusara and started treatment with antibiotics. Half of the cases have healed and the rest of patients were progressing. One patient from Kudumusara was being treated at the Lothugedda PHC.

Keywords: Research team

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