: As many as 19 more cases of suspected cutaneous anthrax were reported from the Visakha Agency even as 12 out of the 16 Girijans admitted during the last one week have been discharged from the King George Hospital here on Monday and Tuesday.
The 19 Girijans, six from Vennelakota and 13 from Goyyagoti villages in G. Madugula mandal were brought to KGH around 11.30 p.m. on Monday and treatment to them commenced immediately basing on the clinical tests, Superintendent of KGH M. Madhusudhana Babu said on Tuesday. The first batch of 16 is from Panasapalli in Hukumpeta mandal and was brought to KGH last Tuesday.
Samples sent to Gwalior lab
Smears were collected for testing at the Department of Microbiology of Andhra Medical College and anti-body test will also be done with the help of 50 kits provided by a two-member team of scientists from DRDE, Gwalior that examined the first batch of suspected anthrax patients a few days ago. Samples collected from the first batch of patients have been sent to DRDE for ELISA test and results are awaited. However, clinical tests showed that the problem was cutaneous anthrax and treatment done accordingly has showed result, he said. Samples of fresh batch would also be sent to Gwalior lab for ELISA test.
The 19 who were admitted on Monday night had consumed meat of a dead ox, Dr. Madhusudhana Babu has gathered while talking to them. He is suspecting one of the patients is suffering with TB also.
Suspected cutaneous anthrax cases have been reported in a large number after a gap of several years. The spores of anthrax live in the atmosphere for a long time and spread to human beings when they cut and consume meat of cattle that died due to anthrax.
The spores would enter the human body through the cuts and gashes on the hands of a person. However, cutaneous anthrax is not a life-threatening disease. Cattle or goats and sheep that die due to anthrax must be buried properly.