KAMPALA, Nov 30, 2023 (AFP) – At least 17 people have died in an anthrax outbreak in southern Uganda this month, a local official told AFP Thursday, saying the situation was “under control”.
Anthrax is spread through a bacterium that is encased in a tough, rod-shaped shell.
The spores exist naturally in the soil and commonly infect livestock which ingest or inhale them while grazing.
Humans can become infected from contact through breathing in the spores, eating contaminated food or through cuts in the skin, for instance by handling diseased animals.
The Ugandan outbreak occurred in Kyotera district, around 180 kilometres (112 miles) from the capital, Kampala, where 17 people have died in November, the district’s health official Edward Muwanga told AFP.
He said that they were “suspected to have eaten meat from the farm where the animals had contracted anthrax”.
“We are working with teams from the ministry of health headquarters in Kampala and the World Health Organization who are on the ground to help in containing the situation and it is under control,” Muwanga said.