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Anthrax reported in horse in Poland

Photomicrograph of a Gram stain of the bacterium Bacillus anthracis, the cause of the anthrax disease.

Photomicrograph of a Gram stain of the bacterium Bacillus anthracis, the cause of the anthrax disease. © CDC

A case of anthrax has been confirmed in a horse in Poland, close to the border with Ukraine.

The case was reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) by Dr Krzysztof Jazdzewski, who is the deputy chief veterinary officer with Poland’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Anthrax was last recorded in Poland in 2001.

Jazdzewski reported that the horse had died of the infection and he listed seven horses as being potentially susceptible to the dangerous disease.

The case, in Pawlowka, in the Lubelskie region in eastern Poland, was detected on June 18 and confirmed as being anthrax on July 7.

Authorities have imposed quarantine measures and regional movement controls inside the country.

The premises have been disinfected and potentially exposed horses are being treated with antimicrobial drugs.

Anthrax is caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis.

Most forms of the disease, which can affect both humans and animals, are lethal.

Domesticated herbivores will usually contract the disease through ingesting endospores.

When the endospores are inhaled, ingested, or come into contact with a skin lesion on a host, they may become reactivated and multiply rapidly.

Veterinary authorities in Hungary are investigating two cases of anthrax in cattle. One person was showing symptoms and was receiving treatment.

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