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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 49-53

An outbreak of cutaneous anthrax in a tribal area of Visakhapatnam district, Andhra Pradesh

Department of DVL, Andhra Medical College, King George Hospital, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. B Balachandrudu
Department of DVL, Andhra Medical College, King George Hospital, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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Background: Anthrax is a disease of herbivorous animals, caused by Bacillus anthracis and humans incidentally acquire the disease by handling infected animals and their products. Though the disease has become rare, endemic outbreaks occur in tropical countries, where veterinary control of livestock is marginal and environmental conditions favor an animal-soil-animal cycle. Materials and Methods: Eight tribal men from Kodipunjuvalasa village of Araku valley presented with painless ulcers associated with vesiculation and edema of surrounding skin on upper limbs without any constitutional symptoms. There was a history of slaughtering and consumption of cooked meat of sick goat 1 week to 10 days prior to the development of skin lesions. Cutaneous anthrax was suspected and smears, swabs were taken for culture and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). All the cases were treated with intravenous followed by oral antibiotics. Appropriate health authorities were alerted and proper control measures were employed. Results: Smears from the cutaneous lesions were positive for Bacillus anthracis in all our cases and this was confirmed by a positive culture and PCR of smears. All the cases responded to antibiotics. Conclusion: We report eight cases of cutaneous anthrax in tribal area of non-endemic district, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh.

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