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An anthrax outbreak was confirmed in Uganda's Kyotera District. FILE.

17 people dead in Uganda anthrax outbreak

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At least 17 people have died in an anthrax outbreak in southern Uganda in November.

The outbreak occurred in Kyotera district, around 180 kilometres (112 miles) from the capital, Kampala.

Health officials say the victims were “suspected to have eaten meat from the farm where the animals had contracted anthrax”.

A team from the World Health Organization visited the area and cautioned residents against eating meat of dead animals. People are also encouraged to report any suspected cases for immediate medical attention to contain the disease and properly dispose of animal carcasses.

Anthrax is endemic in the East and West of Uganda. It 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 that ingest or inhale them while grazing.

Humans can become infected from contact by breathing in the spores, eating contaminated food, or through cuts in the skin, for instance by handling diseased animals.

(With input from agencies) 

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