Anthrax Killed 13 Farm Animals In British Columbia – Are People In Danger?


The B.C. Ministry of Agriculture confirmed that anthrax had killed 13 bison in the province.

The ministry has released a statement after a diagnosis of naturally acquired anthrax has been found as the cause of death of livestock in Fort St. John, a northern community near the border with Alberta.

It is believed that the animals have contracted the disease from exposure to dominant anthrax spores that were in the soil of a feeding location which is no longer being used at the moment.

Public health officials have identified individuals who might have been in contact with the source of infection and are following up with those individuals directly to assess their health.

Vaccination is required 

“An effective vaccine for anthrax for livestock is available, and the rest of the herd on the infected farm will be vaccinated,” the ministry said.

“Animals that have been exposed to anthrax spores in the soil are often successfully treated if diagnosed early.”

There were no further losses on the farm reported. The far has about 150 animals. More than that, there is no risk to the general public involved either.

Anthrax occurs naturally in livestock on the Canadian Prairies and in Northern Alberta, and it’s established in Alberta’s Wood Buffalo National Park.

The bacteria can remain dormant in the soil under certain conditions for a lot of years.

Infection is rare for humans, and it can be treated with antibiotics 

It’s true that anthrax can affect humans, but infection is very rare and there have been no indications of anyone in contact with the animals being infected.

People who are handling infected animals or even contaminated products may contact anthrax spores via cuts or scrapes on the skin, and this would trigger sores, and the infection can be treated with antibiotics.

The ministry also made sure to highlight the fact that anthrax that’s found in the soil poses a highly reduced risk compared to anthrax spores that are dispensed in the air and then inhaled.


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