Breaking: Anthrax outbreak in Binduri kills one; contact tracing efforts are underway

SPREADING: Anthrax outbreak in Binduri kills one; tracing ongoing.

In the Binduri District of the Upper East Region in Ghana, a suspected case of anthrax has resulted in the unfortunate death of an individual who consumed the carcass of a cow infected with the disease.

The announcement was made by Dr Emmanuel Dzotse, the Regional Director of Health Services, through a statement issued by the regional health directorate of the Ghana Health Service on June 2, 2023.

According to the statement, the regional health directorate was notified on June 1, 2023, about two suspected cases of anthrax, one of which resulted in the patient’s death.

The individuals had consumed the meat from dead cattle, leading to their exposure to the anthrax bacteria.

It was further revealed that a total of four cattle had died in the affected community, indicating a potential source of infection.

In response to the situation, the regional health directorate has begun contact-tracing efforts to identify and monitor individuals who may have come into contact with the infected cattle or the patients.

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As of now, 11 suspected cases have been identified, and the necessary measures are being taken to prevent the further spread of the disease.

The statement specifically called upon neighboring districts, particularly those sharing borders with Binduri, to remain vigilant and enhance surveillance activities to detect any potential outbreaks.

To manage the outbreak, samples from the suspected cases have been collected for testing.

Treatment with appropriate antibiotics, such as Ciprofloxacin and Doxycycline, has been initiated for those affected.

These medications are commonly used in the treatment of anthrax infections and can help to eliminate the bacteria from the body.

In addition to the immediate response to the outbreak, the regional health directorate has emphasized the importance of preventing similar incidents in the future.

They have urged communities to refrain from consuming carcasses of cattle without first conducting proper investigations into the cause of death.

This precautionary measure aims to reduce the risk of exposure to infectious diseases like anthrax.

Furthermore, the directorate has encouraged cattle owners in the districts to actively seek veterinary services.

Accessing veterinary care can play a crucial role in identifying and addressing diseases among livestock, thereby contributing to the overall control of diseases like anthrax.

The regional health directorate remains committed to containing the outbreak and safeguarding public health.

They continue to collaborate with relevant stakeholders to ensure a coordinated and effective response to the situation.

By implementing these measures and raising awareness about the risks associated with consuming infected animal products, it is hoped that further spread of anthrax can be curtailed, and future outbreaks can be prevented.

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