Bangladesh begins immunisation against anthrax

Bangladesh launched an immunisation drive on Sunday against anthrax in a southeastern region after a wild elephant died of the disease and triggered a scare that more might be infected.

Veterinarians on Friday said anthrax, which can be fatal to humans and farm animals and is highly infectious, had killed the elephant near Bandarban hill town, 350 km (219 miles) from the capital Dhaka.

“We have started immunising domestic and forest animals and have asked people to remain alert,” environment and forests minister Tariqul Islam told Reuters.

“Adequate animal vaccines have been sent to Bandarban for injecting domestic animals as precaution,” the minister added.

No domestic animal had been reported to have been infected, Tariqul said.

Veterinarians feared the disease could have infected more elephants and other wild species in the remote 14,200 sq km (5,500 sq mile) Chittagong Hill Tracts that border India and Myanmar.

The area is home to 400 wild elephants, including 100 believed to have migrated from across both borders.

Provided by ArmMed Media
Revision date: July 5, 2011
Last revised: by Amalia K. Gagarina, M.S., R.D.