Anthrax outbreak in southern Tanzania under control: official

According to medical experts, anthrax is an infection caused by the bacterium known as bacillus anthracis.

An outbreak of anthrax in Tanzania's southern highlands region of Songwe that killed four people in January is now under control, a senior official said on Monday.

Songwe Regional Administrative Secretary David Kafulila said since the outbreak of the disease in the region on Dec. 10, 2018, regional authorities have taken measures aimed at ending the spread of the disease that left 81 people falling ill after they ate infected meat. 

"Since Jan. 7 this year, we haven't recorded any new cases of anthrax in Songwe region," Kafulila told Xinhua in an interview.

According to medical experts, anthrax is an infection caused by the bacterium known as bacillus anthracis. Symptoms begin between one day and two months after contraction.

Kafulila said measures taken by Songwe regional authorities to control the outbreak of the disease included vaccinating all livestock in the region.

He said by Feb. 14, a total of 20,181 heads of cattle, 292 goats and 29 sheep were vaccinated.

"Our target is to vaccinate the region's population of 123,219 heads of cattle, 78,000 goats and 40,000 sheep," he said, adding that the region has bought 50,500 vaccines and more will be purchased through a revolving fund.

Last month, the Ministry of Health confirmed that the four people died after they ate meat suspected to have been contaminated with the bacteria that cause anthrax.

Xinhua