Five people in Ibanda district are hospitalized after consuming meat suspected to be contaminated with anthrax. The five patients admitted to Ibanda Hospital are residents of Rugaaga I&IV in Rugaaga, and Rwensambya village in Keihangara sub-counties.
Anthrax is a non-contagious zoonotic disease caused by the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis. It is common in wild and domestic animals such as cattle, sheep, goats, camels, and antelopes. In humans, anthrax may occur after contact with contaminated carcasses or animal products like milk and meat.
Vincent Mugisha, the Ibanda District Surveillance Officer, says that they received information from the in-charge of Kicence Health Center III about two people presenting with symptoms of anthrax. He says that three more cases were reported at Keihagara Health Center with similar symptoms.
Mugisha explained that they collected blood samples from animals and the affected individuals and dispatched them for testing to confirm the presence of anthrax. If the disease is confirmed, Mugisha explained that it might have originated from Kiruhura, a district with which they share animal markets and grazing farms. Kiruhura shares a border with Lake Mburo National Park.
Godard Serushuba, the LC I Chairperson of Rugaaga IV Cell, revealed that the affected individuals had consumed the meat of cows that died without exhibiting any signs of illness. Meat dealers purchased the carcasses inexpensively and transported them to other sub-counties, where they sold the meat at a low price. Subsequently, those who consumed the meat developed skin sores and experienced vomiting.