Possible outbreak of anthrax in West Bengal, India

Health care workers are moving quickly to the Bankura district in West Bengal to control a suspected outbreak of anthrax. There are reports of 40 suspected human cases and that local cattle have been dying. Cattle often acquire this infection, and people become infected when handling or consuming the meat of sick or dying cattle.

Advice For Travellers

Anthrax infections affect mostly animals who acquire it while grazing over infected soil. It is not contagious but can be transmitted to humans through contact with or consumption of infected meat. Some forms of anthrax, e.g., pulmonary (lung) infection are serious. Treatment with common antibiotics is often successful. In areas where cattle die unexpectedly, travellers should avoid contact with the dying animals or their meat products.

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