Nine people from Zimbabwe’s Binga District, Matabeleland North are being treated for anthrax after consuming meat from infected hippos that died a fortnight ago, The Herald reports.
The nine included five males and four females of which three of them are children. Health workers were following up on 58 others for possible infection, Matabeleland North provincial medical director Dr Nyasha Masuka told The Herald.
According to the report, eight of the nine affected had subsuternous anthrax which affects the skin and manifests in the form of ulcers, while the other one complained of headache, which is synonymous with meningitis anthrax
16 hippos were found dead along the Zambezi River in Binga and the Department of Veterinary Services under the Ministry of Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development confirmed that they had died from anthax.
The department also said that Binga was an anthrax hot spot and it is not the first time hippos have died from the disease in the area.
Anthrax is an infectious disease that is caused by bacteria. It occurs in four forms; skin, inhalation, intestinal and injection. It is spread by contact; eating, breathing or broken skin with the spores of the bacteria, which often infectious animal products.