This is the second time Abra has Anthrax outbreak. In May 2010, Anthrax downs 41 in the town of Villaviciosa after they ate the meat from two carabaos that had died from sickness – abrenian.comFacts
Health authorities in the province of Abra in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) of northren Luzon are alerting the public to be aware of a potential outbreak of anthrax, which officials have linked to the consumption of carabao meat, according to a Baguio Sun Star report Friday.
An initial report from UB Alert said some 10 farmers were infected; however, the above report notes that Abra health officials say that from January 17 to 24, suspected anthrax cases increased from 12 to 23, respectively.
The Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (Resu) initial data says that majority of the patients were males, including three children with age range of two to 57 years old. There are no fatalities reported to date.
The location of the two dozen cases include the barangays of Cayapa, Bacooc, and Paganao in Lagangilang, Abra.
Anthrax confirmation testing has been requested and is still pending.
Anthrax is an infectious disease due to a type of bacteria called Bacillus anthracis. Infection in humans most often involves the skin, gastrointestinal tract, or lungs.
PubMed Health says anthrax commonly affects hoofed animals such as sheep, cattle, and goats, but humans who come into contact with infected animals can get sick from anthrax, too.
There are three types of anthrax with differing degrees of seriousness:
Cutaneous anthrax: this occurs when the spore (or possibly the bacterium) enters a cut or abrasion on the skin. It starts out as a raised bump that looks like an insect bite. It then develops into a blackened lesion called an eschar that may form a scab. Lymph glands in the area may swell plus edema may be present. This form of anthrax responds well to antibiotics. If untreated, deaths can occur if the infection goes systemic. 95% of cases of anthrax are cutaneous.
Gastrointestinal anthrax: this follows the ingestion of contaminated meats. It is characterized by stomach pain, severe bloody diarrhea, bloody vomit and an inflammation of the intestinal tract. Up to half of those infected will perish from this form of disease. This is a very rare type of anthrax.
Inhalation anthrax: also known as “woolsorter’s disease”, happens due to inhaling the spores. After incubating for less than a week; fever, aches, vomiting are early symptoms. After the initial symptoms, ashort period of improvement (less than a day) may occur. It then progresses to severe respiratory distress. Shock and death soon follow. Later stages of this infection have nearly a 100% chance of death even with antibiotics.
Most people with anthrax are treated with antibiotics. Several antibiotics are effective, including penicillin, doxycycline, and ciprofloxacin.