Anthrax found in dead cows in a natural park


Zagreb, Croatia — Dozens of cows have been confirmed dead in a natural park southeast of Croatia’s capital Zagreb, officials said Saturday.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, authorities conducted an examination of carcasses of animals after reports that cattle developed neurological symptoms. Every step has been taken to contain the outbreak in Lonjsko Polje, a floodplain on the Sava River, known for its unique environment.

State HRT television reported that as many as four were hospitalized for skin infections. Reportedly, 107 cows have died in the last two weeks.

“We can say that the case is in full control and there is no room for panic,” said local public health official Inoslav Burkitch.

B. anthracis spores may sleep on the ground until they are ingested by animals or activated when the soil is disturbed by heavy rain, floods, or drought. The outbreak can kill a large number of animals in a short period of time. Infected livestock often die without detection of the disease.

B. anthracis rarely spreads to humans and is rarely transmitted from person to person. Approximately 95 percent of all human cases of B. anthracis result from skin contact with infected animals. It can be treated with antibiotics, but it can be fatal if left untreated.