Posted 24 марта 2023,, 10:00

Published 24 марта 2023,, 10:00

Modified 24 марта 2023,, 11:15

Updated 24 марта 2023,, 11:15

From Chuvashia to Moscow: anthrax from a sick bull was transmitted to people

From Chuvashia to Moscow: anthrax from a sick bull was transmitted to people

24 марта 2023, 10:00
There are several cases of anthrax in Russia at once. In the Moscow region in recent days there have been two cases with suspicion of this infectious disease. A week ago there were three infections in Chuvashia. Are we facing a new epidemic?

Irina Mishina

Chuvashia, Moscow region... What's next?

According to official data, the current outbreak occurred after a resident of the village of Staroye Aktashevo of the Civil Municipal District slaughtered a bull for meat, which, as it was later established, was infected. As a result, the suspect's neighbor, who participated in the slaughter of the bull, his wife, as well as another local resident, became infected. They were hospitalized, there is no threat to their lives. According to preliminary data, more than 130 people were in contact with the sick. The fact is that the meat and skin of the animal were sold to unknown people. All of them are at home under the constant supervision of health workers. The authorities of Chuvashia have introduced quarantine in the village of Staroye Aktashevo.

After establishing the fact of the disease, an investigation began in the Investigative Committee for Chuvashia. "In violation of the current veterinary legislation, the suspect in his personal subsidiary farm did not carry out veterinary measures to prevent animal diseases, did not carry out preventive vaccinations and did not provide animals for preventive examination to a veterinarian", - the Investigative Committee for the Chuvash Republic explained. The head of Chuvashia Oleg Nikolaev confirmed that signs of Anthrax were detected in several people who participated in the slaughter of a sick bull. The Rosselkhoznadzor said that most likely the animal was bought illegally. The meat and skin were sold to unknown people. On March 16, quarantine was introduced on the territory of the village of Staroye Aktashevo in Chuvashia, where cases of infection were detected.

But it wasn't limited to Chuvashia. March 22, Management Rospotrebnadzor in the Moscow region reported a suspicion of Anthrax in a person who arrived from Chuvashia. Then the Regional Ministry of Health informed about one more thing. However, the tests do not yet confirm the preliminary diagnosis.

Mortality from 20 to 50 %

Outbreaks of anthrax in Russia happen from time to time. They are infected mainly through contact with cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, camels that have not been vaccinated. As a rule, this disease is not transmitted from person to person.

In horses and cattle, the disease is manifested by high fever, refusal of food, swelling of the neck and head. Outbreaks are linked to foci of infection in the soil, which gets there from sick animals, corpses or as a result of the introduction of spores by rain or meltwater.

There is no infection with Anthrax from person to person, but animals can be infected by airborne droplets, and through microtrauma on the skin when opening corpses, skinning and cutting carcasses, as well as when eating meat of a sick animal without sufficient heat treatment.

In humans, in 95% of cases, Anthrax occurs in the skin form. The disease begins with fever, ulcers form on the skin at the site of penetration of the microbe. Less often, the disease can occur in the pulmonary or intestinal form, in the first case, symptoms will be chest pain, shortness of breath, pneumonia, in the second — diarrhea, vomiting and flatulence. Laboratory tests are carried out for diagnosis. Anthrax can be successfully cured with antibiotics, but only in a hospital setting.

The most characteristic sign of Anthrax infection is an itchy reddish spot similar to an insect bite that appears on the skin. Then a vesicle develops — a bubble with serous contents and blood. When combing, an ulcer with a black bottom occurs. The temperature rises, the head hurts. The ulcer grows — up to 8-15 millimeters. In a successful scenario, after five to six days of the acute phase, the temperature decreases, the well-being improves, the swelling resolves, the wound heals, leaving a scar. The mortality rate is 10-20 percent. If you start treatment on time, the disease proceeds in a mild or moderate form

Intestinal infection is much more difficult when the infection enters the body when eating food or water with spores, as well as pulmonary (when inhaling spores). In these cases, the bacterium spreads through the bloodstream and lymphatic system throughout the body, continuing to produce toxins. This gives severe symptoms: high fever, shortness of breath, vomiting, shock. The mortality rate is more than 50 percent.

How to avoid infection

According to statistics, up to 99 percent of cases of Anthrax are infection through the skin. As soon as the patient saw ulcers-vesicles, in accordance with epidemiological procedures, they begin to check all those who came into contact with him.

What precautions should be taken today?

"There is no reason to panic", - Maxim Maskin, the chief physician of the Hemotest laboratory, commented on the situation.- The disease is well studied, easily detected and well treatable. Anthrax can occur with individual characteristics — for someone it is easier, for someone it is harder. But in general, modern technologies make it possible to successfully fight infection. Severe forms usually develop if a person did not seek medical help in time or hid from the doctor that he had contact with a sick animal".

Denis Kolbasov, director of the Federal Research Center for Virology and Microbiology, said that the main reason for the spread of Anthrax is carelessness in the slaughter and burial of animals. At the same time, he urged to be careful when buying meat: "It is extremely dangerous to buy meat in ruins and markets, where it is often stored in unsanitary conditions. Control over the fact that the meat of sick animals does not go on sale is extremely important now".

P.S. According to Rospotrebnadzor, the Anthrax disease in residents of the Moscow region has not been confirmed.