North Dakota’s Department of Agriculture has confirmed 25 cases of cattle anthrax this year, making it the most cases the state has seen since 2005.
In total, the disease has already been linked to the deaths of over 300 cattle, horses, bison, and sheep in the state, causing a financial strain for both ranchers and farmers.
Anthrax is caused by the bacteria Bacillus anthracis, which is a spore-forming bacterium that can live in the ground for decades.
In North Dakota, infected cattle have been grazing where anthrax spores have been detected in the soil.
Natural outbreaks of anthrax among livestock don’t pose a severe risk to humans unless they are handling carcass-affected livestock.
The weaponized version of anthrax, however, is highly deadly.
In 2001, shortly after the 9/11 terror attacks, a weaponized version of anthrax killed five people and caused 17 others to fall ill after they came in contact with letters containing anthrax spores.
State agriculture officials have confirmed a new case of cattle anthrax in southwest North Dakota, bringing the number of cases in the state to 25 this year. https://t.co/g9TXqGp95A
— ABC News (@ABC) December 1, 2023
Per The Associated Press:
A new case of cattle anthrax has been confirmed in southwest North Dakota’s Grant County, bringing the number of cases in the state to 25 this year, according to state agriculture officials.
It’s the first case reported in the state since August, all in Grant County and neighboring Hettinger and Adams counties, the North Dakota Department of Agriculture said in a news release Thursday. Those cases have led to about 170 cattle deaths, North Dakota State Veterinarian Dr. Ethan Andress told The Bismarck Tribune.
While it’s unusual to see a case so late in the year, Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said, the area has seen unusually mild weather recently that has allowed cattle to remain on pastureland where anthrax thrives.
The year’s North Dakota outbreak is the worst since 2005.
Previously, The Gateway Pundit reported that the FDA approved Emergent BioSolution’s new anthrax vaccine for adults 18-65.
Following that report, Emergent BioSolutions announced that the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) has “exercised an option valued on an existing deal to procure additional doses of its recently approved anthrax vaccine Cyfendus (AV7909).”
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