KSAT 12 reported on a new one – at least to me. One case of Anthrax in deer confirmed in Uvalde County. Check out their short story on their website.
Darn animal terrorists!
The Texas Animal Health Commission has this handout on Anthrax on their website:
Pertinent Information About Anthrax
1. Reasons for TAHC Involvement: Classified as a reportable disease. Worldwide distribution. Most recent outbreak in Texas: summer 2003.
2. Applicable regulations & information: General disease control and quarantine provisions apply. Chapter 31 of TAHC regulations, Vernon’s Texas Codes Annotated Chapter 161 (statutes).
3. Current Status: Primarily a control program. TAHC responds to isolated occurrences of reported disease.
4. Causative Agent: Bacillus anthracis bacteria.
5. Other names (synonyms): Splenic fever, Charbon, Milzbrand.
6. Other animals affected: Horses, goats, sheep, deer and all other grazing animals. Anthrax infection in humans is extremely rare, but can occur in three forms: cutaneous (skin), inhalation and gastrointestinal. Humans can become infected with anthrax by handling products from infected animals or by inhaling anthrax spores from contaminated animal products.
Anthrax also can be spread by eating undercooked meat from infected animals.
7. Organs, tissues or systems affected: Edema of abdomen, prepuce, mammary in horses. Swelling of neck secondary to regional lymph nodes in swine, cats and dogs.
8. How spread occurs
Entry point: Ingestion of bacteria while grazing in contaminated areas.
Exit point: Carcasses of infected animals contaminate the ground, setting up the cycle for future a outbreak.
9. Symptoms: Animals may stagger, tremble, develop fever, diarrhea, convulsions, and exhibit bleeding from body openings. Death is inevitable.
10. Incubation period: Typically three to seven days, with a range of one to 14 days.
11. How suspicious herds are located (surveillance): Sudden death loss. Enlarged “blackberry” spleens of dead animals, bloody discharge from body openings, rapidly decomposing carcass, lack of rigor mortis, bloating.
12. How diagnosis is confirmed: Blood tests, culture or PCR test.
13. Case handling: Carcasses of infected animals must be thoroughly burned to prevents ground contamination. Remaining animals in the herd must be vaccinated and quarantined for 10 days.
14. Disposition of affected animals: Burn carcasses of affected animals
15. Restriction on exposed animals: Quarantine and vaccination of animals in herds where death losses have occurred.
16. Impact on other producers: Diagnosis can frighten campers and hunters who may have planned visits to affected areas.
17. Unique problems: Weather patterns can affect outbreaks, which usually occur during a hot, dry spell, following a cool, wet spring.
18. Other comments/references: Livestock can be vaccinated. Anthrax is considered to be an excellent candidate for use as bio weapon.