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What we know so far — RT Russia and the former Soviet Union

A woman from the Stavropol region was diagnosed with the dangerous bacterial infection

A woman from the Stavropol region in southern Russia has been diagnosed with the dangerous bacterial infection, anthrax, local authorities announced on Tuesday.

Governor of the Stavropol region Vladimir Vladimirov took to Telegram to announce that he had received “information that required the greatest attention” about a resident of the village of Rozhdestvenskaya who contracted anthrax.

The patient was in satisfactory condition, with doctors attending to her. The woman’s life was out of danger, the governor added.

What is anthrax?

Anthrax is a serious infectious disease, caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis, which is sometimes found in rural areas and most often affects livestock. Humans can catch it from animals, usually from infected carcasses, as well as from wool, hair and hides.

The disease can affect the skin, lungs and intestines. Respiratory anthrax is the most dangerous and has a 50% to 80% mortality rate even with treatment, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, the most common is the cutaneous form of the disease, which is fatal in less than 24% of cases without treatment.

The illness often begins with flu-like symptoms, which can then progress to serious respiratory problems.

Hundreds of thousands of people died of anthrax before the 20th century, but the number of cases was drastically reduced thanks to the use of antibiotics to treat patients and the vaccination of animals.

Some countries have developed anthrax as a biological weapon. According to Russian officials, the disease was among the pathogens studied in secret US-funded biological laboratories in Ukraine, which were discovered during the Moscow military operation.

How was the woman infected?

Russian media tracked down the patient with anthrax, identifying her only as 50-year-old Siyadat.

She would have been infected while cutting up a bull calf. At first, the woman did not pay attention to a small lesion that appeared on her finger, but it grew steadily larger and became painful.

Siyadat consulted a doctor and was diagnosed with anthrax. She was placed in an infectious disease hospital and is currently being treated with antibiotics, according to reports.

“I had an abscess. Blood collected under the skin, then my finger turned black. Doctors diagnosed [me with anthrax]. I don’t have a rash or anything. Everything is fine. I am a healthy 105 kilogram woman,” the patient told Life’s website.

Siyadat also revealed that she had a similar problem about eight years ago, but recovered on her own without medical help.

Will the disease spread?

The Stavropol Anti-Plague Research Institute, which is overseen by Russian consumer watchdog Rospotrbnadzor, said on Wednesday that “there was no reason for the disease to spread.”

What we know so far — RT Russia and the former Soviet Union

Measures to locate and eradicate the anthrax hotspot have been fully implemented, he said.

Large-scale vaccination of livestock is underway in Rozhdestvenskaya, according to media reports. Siyadat’s relatives were placed under medical supervision although none of them were infected. Cases of human-to-human transition of anthrax are usually very rare.

The inhabitants of the village were asked to be very careful about hygiene and to wash their hands often.

Chief consultant for infectious diseases of the local health ministry, Larisa Tkachenko, recalled that cases of anthrax were last recorded in Stavropol in 2019. But there were no deaths caused by the disease in the region for at least a decade, she added.

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