Anthrax Outbreaks Announced in Two Chinese Provinces

By Fang Xiao, Epoch Times
August 13, 2012 2:26 pm Last Updated: October 1, 2015 12:37 pm
Villagers from Ganmazhen in Lianyungang, Jiangsu Province have contracted anthrax from an infected cow. The village was closed off and victims were isolated in a nearby hospital. Locals are now scared to eat beef out of fear of contracting the disease. (Weibo.com)

Several dozen people in two different Chinese provinces are being treated for anthrax, an often fatal disease contracted from infected animals. A village in eastern China is under quarantine.

Around 10 people have been diagnosed with anthrax and were isolated according to residents of Ganmazhen Village near the coastal city of Lianyungang in China’s eastern Jiangsu Province.

A villager with the surname Wang told The Epoch Times that the majority of those infected are women. He said that sick cows were believed to have been the source of the outbreak and described the symptoms as “red pimples all over their bodies,” which turn into blisters and then turn black.

Villagers heard about the outbreak only a week ago, and it was later confirmed that it was anthrax, Wang said.

Another Ganmazhen resident, Mrs. Gao, told The Epoch Times that the village was closed off and victims were isolated in a nearby hospital. Locals are now scared to eat beef out of fear of contracting the disease.

A microblog on China’s QQ generated over 40,000 responses, most of them from netizens in Shanghai, which borders Jiangsu Province where the outbreak occurred. People cautioned each other not to eat out and to avoid beef.

A report by Beijing News, republished by Sina Web portal in late July, said that Ganmazhen villagers killed a sick cow that was transported there from another province. Seven out of 10 people began to have skin blisters and other symptoms. But at the time, only two were diagnosed with anthrax and had symptoms including blisters and blackened skin. Five were isolated at Lianyungang Number 4 Hospital. All 10 villagers’ homes were disinfected, the report said.

Another anthrax outbreak occurred in the Xiuyan and Haicheng regions of northeastern Liaoning Province, according to the official provincial website. As of Aug. 10, 21 cases have been reported, with 3 confirmed and 18 suspected.

All 21 patients have been isolated at the Anshan Hospital for Infectious Diseases. The epidemic had spread through contact with bacteria during the slaughtering of sick cows, the provincial website said.

Anthrax is an infectious disease that is caused by bacteria, which can form harmful spores. It is usually contracted when humans have immediate contact with infected animals, generally cows and other livestock. The disease is not spread from person to person, but is contracted when humans come into contact with spores from contaminated animal products, including meat and fur, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control. Outbreaks Announced in Two Chinese Provinces

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