Special Correspondent

Lack of awareness among people is contributing to high incidence of the disease

Anthrax affects human beings when they eat contaminated meat

Vaccination is now available only for animals

BHUBANESWAR: As reports keep appearing about people falling victim to

anthrax in different parts of Orissa, the authorities seem to be doing little to contain the disease in animals from which the diseases passes to people. A large number of animals are dying due to the disease in the State every year.

A total of 418 animal deaths have been reported from as many as 14 of the 30 districts in the State during the past 10 years from 1997-1998 to 2006-2007. Besides, 750 animals have been affected by anthrax in the past decade, according to official figures.

The districts that have reported animal deaths due to anthrax are Bargarh, Cuttack, Deogarh, Dhenkanal, Jharsuguda, Koraput, Kandhamal, Kalahandi, Keonjhar, Malkangiri, Mayurbhanj, Sundargarh and Nuapada.

As regards human deaths due to anthrax, at least 10 people have died of anthrax over the past one month in the districts of Koraput and Kalahandi.

Lack of awareness among the people about the dangers posed by anthrax contributes towards the high incidence of the disease.

The rise in number of animal and human deaths is caused by the zoonotic nature of the disease.

Anthrax usually affects cattle, but sometime passes to humans when they eat contaminated meat.

Although antibiotics often cure the disease in humans if it is diagnosed early, there is no vaccine available for human beings.

Acute

In animals such as cattle, buffalo, sheep, goat and pig, the disease is acute and causes sudden death. But animals are could be protected if vaccinated in time.

In order to tackle the menace, the Animal Husbandry Department of the State Government has chalked out an ambitious project to tackle the disease in areas where anthrax was common by educating people on different aspects of anthrax control measures.

The project underlines the need for both Veterinary and Public health Department to work jointly to avert dangerous anthrax infection by way of creating anthrax-free zones.

The Department has proposed to implement the project involving an amount of Rs. 2315.10 lakhs for control and containment of anthrax in the 14 affected districts over a period of 10 years.

Anthrax affects human beings when they eat contaminated meat

Vaccination is now available only for animals