Outbreak of Anthrax Associated with Handling and Eating Meat from a Cow, Uganda, 2018
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On April 20, 2018, the Kween District Health Office in Kween District, Uganda reported 7 suspected cases of human anthrax. A team from the Uganda Ministry of Health and partners investigated and identified 49 cases, 3 confirmed and 46 suspected; no deaths were reported. Multiple exposures from handling the carcass of a cow that had died suddenly were significantly associated with cutaneous anthrax, whereas eating meat from that cow was associated with gastrointestinal anthrax. Eating undercooked meat was significantly associated with gastrointestinal anthrax, but boiling the meat for >60 minutes was protective. We recommended providing postexposure antimicrobial prophylaxis for all exposed persons, vaccinating healthy livestock in the area, educating farmers to safely dispose of animal carcasses, and avoiding handling or eating meat from livestock that died of unknown causes.
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