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Guinea: 2019 Anthrax

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  • Guinea: 2019 Anthrax


    Anthrax outbreak in Guinea linked to sick goat
    by News Desk
    May 27, 2019
    By News Desk @bactiman63

    Health officials in Guinea are reporting an anthrax outbreak in Koubia prefecture in the northwestern part of the country.

    A total of five human cases of anthrax ( four cutaneous anthrax and one gastrointestinal anthrax) including one death (case fatality ratio 20%) have been reported...

  • #2
    Outbreaks and Emergencies Bulletin, Week 21: 20 - 26 May 2019
    Anthrax Guinea

    5 Cases
    1 Death
    20% CFR


    On 9 May 2019, the Prefectural Health Directorate of Koubia, Guinea
    was informed of the admission of four suspected anthrax cases at the
    Prefectural Hospital located in Labé region in the northern part of the
    country. Three of the case-patients presented to the hospital with skin
    lesions typical of a cutaneous anthrax infection (black crusts on either the
    face, the hands, the head, or the neck with swelling around the affected
    parts). The fourth case-patient, a 2-year-old male, son to one of the three
    case-patients who presented with skin lesions, was admitted with fever,
    fatigue and body aches. The four suspected cases, coming from the same
    family in the same community, reportedly developed symptoms five to
    12 days after consuming meat from a sick goat that was slaughtered on
    28 April 2019. Half of the goat meat was sent to a neighbouring village,
    located nine kilometers from that of the case-patients. No case has been
    reported from the second village to date. Blood specimens and/or swab
    samples from the skin lesions were collected from the four case-patients
    and tested at Conakry National Institute of Public Health. One of the four
    suspected cases was confirmed by reverse transcription-polymerase
    chain reaction (RT-PCR). Retrospective investigation established that the
    index case was a 13-year-old male from the same family who developed
    clinical features of gastrointestinal anthrax (abdominal pain and bloating,
    body aches, headache, and fever) on 2 May 2019 after consuming meat
    from the sick goat on 28 April 2019, and who died in the community on
    5 May 2019. No biological specimen was collected.

    As of 15 May 2019, a total of five human cases of anthrax including one
    death (case fatality ratio 20%) have been reported. Sixty percent (3/5) of
    the cases were in the age-group of 0-9 years, with a male predominance
    (4/5; 80%).

    In the same village, two goats were reportedly sick between 28 April
    and 11 May 2019. One of them was slaughtered on 28 April 2019 and
    consumed by the five human cases before symptom onset and the other
    goat died on 11 May 2019. Both animals mixed with a 380-head-cattle
    herd, of which 174 (46%) were vaccinated against anthrax in January


    A preliminary outbreak investigation has been conducted by the
    Koubia prefecture health team.

    Active case search enabled identification of 52 community
    members (including 37 from the case-patients village and 15 from
    the second village) who reportedly consumed meat or handled the
    carcass of the dead goat.

    The outbreak case definition has been finalized and is being
    distributed to health facilities in the affected areas.

    An environmental investigation identified two areas in the affected
    village where the two sick goats used to graze. Burning and
    isolation of these areas have been approved by the prefectural
    veterinary services.

    Case management is ongoing in the Prefectural Hospital with administration of
    antipyretics, antibiotics and dressing the skin lesions.

    A mission intended to assess the health status of the cattle in Koubia prefecture, is
    being planned by the National Livestock Service with the support of the Food and
    Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and planning for vaccination of cattle is ongoing.


    Recurrent anthrax outbreaks have been notified in Koubia prefecture in the past and the
    deadliest outbreak in the prefecture was reported from the same village in 2014, with
    11 human deaths. Several factors may account for the recurrence of anthrax outbreaks
    in this locality. More than 30 pastures in this village are suspected to be contaminated
    with anthrax spores that can infect cattle. The poor hygiene conditions and low livestock
    immunization coverage could have contributed to increase the risk of transmission of the
    disease in animals, as well as humans.

    An integrated preparedness and response contingency plan, based on a One Health
    approach, needs to be developed and tested to control the current outbreak and prevent
    future occurrence of cases in the affected and non-affected areas. Therefore, heightened
    animal and human health surveillance, coupled with a mass livestock vaccination
    campaign and environmental investigation, as well as risk communication and community
    engagement activities need to be implemented to avert any large outbreak.
    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
    -Nelson Mandela