Anthrax Closes in on Dhaka, 9 Infected in N'ganj
Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Anthrax is closing in on Dhaka, having infected nine people in Narayanganj, the nearest district some 20 km south of the capital, according to the district's top medical office.

With the latest cases, at least 504 people have so far infected with the disease.

Dr Zinat Afroj of Narayanganj Civil Surgeon's Office said on Monday at least nine people have been confirmed to have contracted the acute disease at Araihazar Upazila in the district.

They are 'Ismail', 38, and his son 'Russel', 8, Altafuddin, 42 and his son 'Russel', 20, and daughter 'Dali', 7, 'Alam', 28, 'Masum', 8, Nabi Hossain, 7, and Nur Jahan, 35, of Raghunathpur village under Mahmudpur Union of the Upazila.

They have been admitted to the Upazila health complex.

Civil surgeon Mohammad Matiar Rahman, who visited the village, said those infected have already been vaccinated. "We're even keeping a tab on the families who consumed meat of an ailing cow."

He said there is nothing to be panicked since the disease does not spread by human contact.

Matiar said sufficient vaccines are in stock.

Afroj said she and Upazila livestock officer Dr Sakhawat Hossain also visited the village and treated the patients.

Mozaffar Ali, a resident inhabitant of the village, said he had bought a cow from Kalyandi Bazar two days before the Ramadan had started. He then found that the cow was sick and took it to the local livestock hospital.

Ali said he slaughtered it as its condition deteriorated even after vaccination. Later he distributed the meat among 40 families of the village and many of them fell sick.

The disease was first detected on Aug 18 among 26 villagers in Sirajganj district. The disease, although curable, has been spreading around the country since then.

The government on Aug 31 declared a 'red alert' around the country over the spread.

At least 208 other people have been infected in Sirajganj, 57 in Pabna, 46 in Kushtia, 26 in Tangail, 67 in Meherpur, eight in Manikganj, one in Satkhira, 75 in Lalmonirhat and seven in Rajshahi.


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