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Spain: Human anthrax case reported in Extremadura

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A veterinarian in the autonomous community of Extremadura has contracted anthrax, the second case in the past 20 years in the region, according to a Canal Extremadura report.

Bacillus anthracis/CDC

It is believed the vet contracted the bacterial infection performing a necropsy on a cow in the Albuquerque livestock farm.

Veterinarian Alfonso Rodríguez said,  “When an animal dies, it begins to secrete a series of fluids through the mouth, vagina, or anus, or even when a necropsy is performed on that animal, the bacteria emit a series of spores, and when they are inhaled or come into contact with the skin the mechanism of infection can be produced”.

The Animal Health services have not been able to confirm the possible case in livestock, because the reference laboratory has not received the necessary material to carry out the precise analyzes and cultures.

Reports state the affected veterinarian is fine, he has only had a fever. He is currently isolated at the University Hospital of Badajoz.

Anthrax disease is a serious infection caused by bacteria known as Bacillus anthracis. It commonly affects pets and wild animals, which can become infected by breathing or ingesting spores from contaminated soil, plants, or water.

In humans, this disease can be contracted when breathing in the spores of the bacteria, drinking water, or eating food that is contaminated with spores. It can be of three types: cutaneous, respiratory or gastric, which is the most serious. Among the most common symptoms are fever, chest discomfort, shortness of breath, skin blisters, dizziness, cough, nausea or vomiting, extreme tiredness or body aches.

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