YEREVAN, November 2. / ARKA /. The outbreak of anthrax that infected more than 30 people in several villages in the eastern Gegharkunik region last month will affect meat market ahead of the New Year festivities, according to head of the Agrarian-Peasant Union Armenia Hrach Berberyan.
The outbreak of the disease was reported in the village of Tsovak in Gegharkunik region. The residents of this and neighboring villages were hospitalized and diagnosed with the potentially grave disease that was apparently transmitted from infected cattle. Laboratory studies confirmed anthrax in only one patient.
Following this the authorities moved to vaccinate the cattle, destroy all meat and meat products that were kept in refrigerators. They also set up check points to prevent possible movement of the cattle to other areas.
According to Berberyan, concrete information about the amount of damage caused by the disease will be available only in December. He said the outbreak of the anthrax is to blame on local vets’ failure to vaccinate all the cattle in the region.
"There are two potential reasons for the spread of the disease. The first are substandard vaccines, but this theory should be ruled out because in that case the disease would have spread to other regions as well. The second, more likely reason is the careless attitude of veterinarians, who did not vaccinate all the cattle,’ he said.
Berberyan also blamed the villagers ‘who are reluctant to inform the leadership of the country about their problems.’
He said in general the current year is not good for cattle, primarily, because of very hot summer that dried up the pastures.
Anthrax is an acute infectious disease that occurs in the form of skin, rarely intestinal, pulmonary and septicemic form. The source of infection are cattle, sheep, goats and pigs. Human get infected after contacting with ill animals when culling or processing skins or eating food contaminated with spores, as well as through water, soil, fur coats and other items affected by contamination. No human to human infection was reported. -0-