Farm animals die from anthrax in Indonesia

Three white and brown cows look into the camera, animal news
Three cows with tags in their ears, photo: Annie Spratt via Unsplash

Fifteen farm animals died in recent days from anthrax in two villages on Java island, Indonesian authorities said on Friday.

Seven cows and a goat also tested positive for anthrax, said Kelik Yuniantoro of the agriculture office in the Gunung Kidul region of Java. The animals were given antibiotics and vitamins.

“Areas where the dead animals were from are now red zones. All animals from those regions are not allowed to leave for now,” Yuniantoro told news agency Reuters.

Anthrax is an infection which is caused by the bacteria Bacillus anthracis. The bacterium is found naturally in soil and can affect animals that breathe in or eat spores in contaminated soil, plants, or water.

Anthrax can affect cows, pigs, horses, sheep and humans. In pigs and horses, the symptoms are loss of appetite and hot painful swelling in the throat.

In cows and sheep, some of the symptoms can be a harsh dry cough, high temperature and blood in feces or nostrils. Humans get skin infections or damage to their lungs when anthrax is inhaled.

Yuniantoro said 23 people had skin infections, likely from handling infected animals or eating meat from an infected animal.

“Animal markets were also disinfected, and veterinary inspections are being tightened up,” Yuniantoro added. The community’s health situation would be monitored for four months.

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