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Product title :

Anthrax in Wabessa village in the Dessie Zuria district of Ethiopia

Author(s) : G. Shiferaw

Summary :

In 2002 an investigation of sudden death in a goat in Wabessa village in the Dessie Zuria district of Ethiopia was undertaken using fresh blood brought to the Kombolcha Regional Veterinary Laboratory. The sample was examined using standard bacteriological techniques and animal pathogenicity tests were also performed. The laboratory investigation revealed Bacillus anthracis as the cause of sudden death. Information gathered from stockowners in the same village revealed other similar recent cases and deaths, both in animals and humans, with farmers clearly describing the clinical signs and necropsy findings of anthrax. The disease occurs annually in this area in May and June, and in the 2002 outbreak mortality rates of 7.7%, 32.7% and 47.1% were observed in cattle, goats and donkeys, respectively. This study indicates that the community of this particular village neither knows of, nor practises, any of the conventional methods for anthrax control. The cutaneous form of the disease in humans and the environmental contamination associated with the practise of opening cadavers are briefly described and the findings are discussed with reference to the epidemiology of anthrax in both Ethiopia and elsewhere. Control strategies are also recommended.

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