Anthrax Scare in Simplipal Biosphere, Odisha, India

After 8 cattle and over 100 pigs were found dead in villages around the Simlipal Biosphere of Odisha in India, the villagers were gripped with an anthrax scare. This is based on the fact that in December 2014, an elephant died of suspected anthrax in the range, and later, investigation confirmed the presence of Bacillus anthracis in the elephant’s organs.

Though the cattle were vaccinated against the disease, pigs are usually not vaccinated, and vaccine failure has been noted in cattle. Teams of Veterinary Surgeons have visited the affected areas and blood and visceral samples have been collected from a dead calf. Now, as calves are rarely vaccinated against anthrax, if the bacillus turns up on investigation, then a fresh round of vaccinations and other public health measures need to be initiated to stop further spread of the disease.

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