While Anthrax has already spread in many districts of Bangladesh, forcing the authorities issue a red alert, the government is hoping the disease will not turn into an epidemic.
The Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) confirmed on Thursday that 447 people in eight districts had been infected with anthrax in the last three weeks. IEDCR virologist A.S.M. Alamgir said treatment facilities had been made available in all affected areas and claimed more than half the infected people had already been cured.
Health Ministry officials initially said the northern Sirajganj district had the most number of infected, numbering 207. But they feared the situation was worse in another northern district, Lalmonirhat, where doctors suspect 320 people to be infected.
Officials also confirmed the disease spread after villagers consumed anthrax infected meat sold at low prices. Veterinary officials also confirmed that half a dozen anthrax-infected cows died in Lalmonirhat. They said despite vaccinating cows, they were receiving more infection in people. Officials reported acute vaccine shortage in most of the areas.
However, after visiting several anthrax patients at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital, Health Minister A.F.M. Ruhul Haque said there was “no reason to worry about anthrax. It will not be an epidemic and its treatment is fairly easy. All required medicines are available everywhere.”