Annals of Tropical Medicine and Public Health
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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 125-129

Sporadic outbreaks of cutaneous anthrax: A tip of the iceberg

1 Department of Dermatology, NRS Medical College, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
2 Department of Microbiology, Midnapore Medical College and Hospital, Midnapore, West Bengal, India
3 Department of Pathology, Ispat General Hospital, Rourkela, Odisha, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Partha S Satpathi
Midnapore Medical College and Hospital, Midnapore - 721 101, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ATMPH.ATMPH_12_17

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Background: Although primarily a zoonotic disease, anthrax can be transmitted to human beings either directly or indirectly from animals. India being an endemic region for anthrax, the underreporting of cases from different parts makes it difficult to estimate the actual burden of anthrax, particularly in rural belt. Materials and Methods: A medical team consisting of members from medical college, public health and animal husbandry department went to visit a tribal village of Paschim Medinipur, West Bengal, from which place one person attended the skin department of Midnapur Medical College with painless hemorrhagic vesicular lesion. It resulted to high index of suspicion for an outbreak of anthrax. We interrogated the risk population of the area along with clinical examination and samples for relevant investigation were collected from them. Results: Out of 151 persons, 111 were found to come in contact with a dead cow. Among them, 11 persons had cutaneous anthrax, and all were associated with butchering animal. Attack rate was 7.3%, and the mean age was 35.9 years with a mean incubation period of 2.81 days. Six cows were found positive for anthrax in blood examination. Conclusion: Public awareness programs are to be undertaken from time to time so that early detection and treatment can prevent death from human anthrax. Regular survey and vaccination of livestock in endemic regions are to be undertaken by the animal health department.

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