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Kazakh Officials Confirm Second Anthrax Outbreak In A Week

Spores from the Sterne strain of anthrax bacteria (Bacillus anthracis)
Spores from the Sterne strain of anthrax bacteria (Bacillus anthracis)

Kazakh authorities say an outbreak of anthrax has been confirmed in the eastern part of the country -- the second outbreak to infect villagers in Kazakhstan within a week.

Kazakh Health Minister Tamara Duisenova said on June 24 that two residents in village of Kolbatau, in East Kazakhstan Oblast, have tested anthrax positive.

Officials confirmed on June 22 that two villagers in Kazakhstan's central region of Qaraghandy had died from anthrax infections, and that six people were hospitalized with the deadly disease.

Duisenova on June 24 said seven people had been diagnosed with anthrax and were being treated at Qaraghandy's city hospital.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), humans as well as domestic and wild animals -- such as cattle, sheep, goats, antelope, and deer -- can become infected by inhaling or ingesting spores in contaminated soil, plants, or water.

The CDC says all types of anthrax infections can cause death if they are not treated with antibiotics.

Based on reporting by KazTAG and