Anthrax Spread Prompts 'Red Alert'
Monday, 06 September 2010

Almost 70 percent of the cattle slaughtered in Dhaka do not pass through proper inspection of the authorities.

But the government's red alert across Bangladesh after anthrax spread into new districts would be in vain if all the cattle do not go through a systematic inspection process.

Scientists and veterinarians have concluded that the disease is spreading largely because of unhealthy conditions in which cattle are slaughtered.

Not to speak of the conditions in the rest of the country, almost 70 percent of the slaughtered cattle sold in the capital every day do not pass through proper inspection by the authorities.

DCC veterinary surgeon Dr Ajmatullah said, "Only 30 percent of the cattle entering the capital are inspected in the five abattoirs."

Urging the people not to panic, he suggested consumers should be careful while purchasing meat.

Director of Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) Mahmudur Rahman stressed on consciousness of the city corporation, local government and above all the people to prevent spread of anthrax.

"Only strict monitoring can stop slaughtering of ailing cattle in the markets," he added.

Mahmudur said the disease does not spread from human to human.

Asked why the spread had been extensive this year, he said, "This disease is seen every year, but this time there has been much talks about it."

He said the matter got wide publicity after affected people were identified by medical teams in different areas and their findings were published in the media.

"The disease is curable, and more than 90 percent of the patients can be cured with proper treatment," he added.

Anthrax was first identified in Sirajganj on Aug 19, when at least 26 people including two children showed signs of infection at Chithhulia village under Kayempur of Shahjadpur Upazila.

The disease then spread to Pabna, Tangail and Kushtia, and more areas across the country.


The government on Aug 29 set up check posts at the city's entry points to prevent ailing cattle from entering Dhaka.

Deputy director of livestock department Dr Bidhan Chandra said four veterinarians have been posted at those check points.

"They are checking all the cattle," he claimed.

"We have already distributed vaccines in the affected areas. So there is less scope of spreading the disease in the capital," Dr Bidhan said.


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