The health surveillance officer in Kuajok hospital says they have admitted 18 people with the severe symptom of anthrax infection, many of the cases among young children and adults.
Mr. Akier Akier works at the health ministry as a surveillance officer in Warrap state. He says they have sent the samples to Juba for laboratory analysis. He added that if the result comes out positive it will be the first time to record anthrax cases in humans because it is most common in cattle.
Anthrax is a severe infectious disease caused by bacteria known as bacillus anthracis. It occurs naturally in soil and commonly affects domestic and wild animals. People can get sick with anthrax if they come into contact with infected animals or contaminated animal products.
He says the 18 patients came from different villages in Gogrial West county, and they suspect the cause could be eating the meat of dead animals.
“Anthrax normally infects animals and can kill; it can be transmitted to humans when people eat the meat of dead animals. And now history of the infection comes from the cattle-keeping communities. So, we need to be careful which meat animal we choose to eat”.
He urges the public to immediately report any symptoms seen to the health facility.
“People in the villages are used to local treatment, and this is what I am discouraging the locals from doing. I came to prove it the last week when we were investigating the level of the diseases. So, people need to stop local treatment and rush the patient immediately to the hospital”.
The common symptoms include fever and chills, swelling of neck or neck glands, Sore throat, painful swallowing, nausea and vomiting, especially bloody vomiting, diarrhea, and headache.
He says the treatment they are giving is antibiotic medicines.
The patients have severe swelling on faces and wounds at the neck and heads.