Animal anthrax reported in Kittson County
KITTSON COUNTY, MINN. (Valley News Live) - The Minnesota Board of Animal Health has confirmed the state’s first anthrax case in animals in more than a decade was found in Kittson County.
It’s affected several cattle, a house, and has quarantined the affected property. Anthrax is caused by a spore-forming bacterium called Bacillus anthracis, which can come in greater numbers after rainstorms or floods.
“One of the reasons we don’t see a lot of anthrax cases in the state anymore is because we have proactive measures to protect livestock like vaccinations,” said Dr. Katie Cornille, who oversees the Board’s bovine programs. “With this detection in Kittson County, livestock producers who graze their animals on pasture in and around the county should talk to their veterinarian about vaccinating their animals if they aren’t already.”
Most animals die from the disease before ever showing signs. So, it’s important to have a veterinarian examine animals that die suddenly or are found dead on pasture.
Spores can survive in soil for years, endangering many other animals. The board says it’s important to have a vet come and prevent spore formation and contamination by performing a field necropsy.
Officials want to be clear, anthrax in animals is not a risk to the public. The disease is spread through contact with affected animals or their products. Although the risk is low, people who have had contact with animals that have died of anthrax should consult their healthcare provider or the Minnesota Department of Health.
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