YEREVAN, October 24. /ARKA/. There is no danger that anthrax will spread through Armenia, Chief of Veterinary Inspectorate of the State Service for Food Safety at Armenia’s Agriculture Ministry Hovhannes Mkrtchyan said Wednesday, Novosti-Armenia agency reports. Laboratory studies have confirmed one of the 21 hospitalized residents of Vardenis district of Armenia’s Gegharkunik region had anthrax, the ministry of health said in a statement posted on its official website on October 22.
According to Mkrtchyan, the Veterinary Inspectorate was informed about the hospitalization of a resident who could possibly have anthrax on October 15.
“Our specialists arrived in Vardenis district’s Tsovak village, as the hospitalized patient was said to be from there. Not waiting for the laboratory expertise, they launched activities against the spread of the disease,” he said.
He clarified that since October 15 the cattle in Tsovak and the nearby villages was vaccinated. Meat raw products, kept in refrigerators of the villages’ residents, were destroyed. Special border points were set to stop transhumance, and meat delivery to other regions of the republic.
“After October 15, we didn’t register any anthrax case. As of now there is no danger that the disease will spread,” Mkrtchyan resumed.
Mkrtchyan also said the residents of the villages were first resisting the activities, refusing from sending meat products to labs.
“However, when our specialists explained to them what danger the contaminated product can cause, they agreed to help us,” he noted.
“I can’t say for sure how many samples we took. I can just say it was enough for expertise, and just two of the samples ( meat and skin) showed this disease causative agents. Currently we are researching whether the two samples belong to one or two different animals.”
As of now the specialists are also trying to reveal the hotbed of disease.
“We know it is somewhere on the pasture in 30 km from Tsovak village. The moment we reveal the hotbed, we will sanitize the soil in that place.”
Mkrtchyan also highlighted the Inspectorate is looking for the guilty individual, who may even be a local vet who hadn’t vaccinate animals on time.
“As soon as we find the guilty individuals, they will be immediately sent to law enforcement bodies,” he said.
Armenia’s Health ministry said it had received reports from Vardenis district in Gegharkunik province that 21 people were hospitalized with the symptoms of anthrax. Nonspecific infectious agents of the disease were revealed in nine people while samples taken from other five appeared to be negative.
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 infection occur usually through contacts with animals while cutting animal carcasses, processing skins and eating food contaminated with spores, as well as through contaminated water, soil and fur coats. No human to human infections were reported. -0-