Health authorities in Armenia said on Tuesday that they have coped successfully with an outbreak of anthrax that infected more than 30 people in a rural area last week.
The residents of several villages in the eastern Gegharkunik region were hospitalized and diagnosed with the potentially grave disease that was apparently transmitted from infected cattle.
According to the State Hygiene and Anti-Epidemic Service, most of them have already been discharged from a local hospital. “The condition of the 15 patients remaining in the hospital is satisfactory,” said Liana Torosian, a senior official at the agency subordinate the Armenian Health Ministry.
“There is no question of complications. The detected cases relate only to the [milder] skin-related forms of anthrax,” Torosian told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am).
It is not clear if any animals in the area have been culled to contain the anthrax outbreak. The Ministry of Agriculture said it will present its veterinary service’s response to the emergency on Wednesday.
In the meantime, Torosian and the country’s chief epidemiologist, Aram Asoyan, urged Armenians to buy meat only from shops known to be meeting safety standards and boil it well before consuming.