The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Anthrax grips family of three

Behrampore, July 27: Anthrax cases were reported from another village in Domkol today even as the Murshidabad administration struggled to identify the animals spreading the virus.

Three new cases were detected at Pardiar village, about 245 km from Calcutta. That all the anthrax cases detected so far are in Domkol, part of animal resources development minister Anisur Rahaman’s constituency, has multiplied the administration’s embarrassment.

The deputy director of Rahaman’s department, Manik Chandra Das, said: “Domestic animals like cows and goats in the affected areas are being injected with anti-anthrax vaccines so that human beings consuming their flesh are not affected.”

He blamed cows from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab, which are smuggled to Bangladesh through clandestine routes, for the spread of the disease. “Sometimes these cows are kept in villages here for weeks. The local animals may have got the disease then,” said Das.

Three persons of the same family have been detected as suffering from anthrax at Pardiar. Nazimuddin Sheikh, his wife and daughter ate the flesh of a goat that was seriously ill before being slaughtered.

Pardiar is the fourth village, after Hitanpur, Ambarpur and Goribpur, where anthrax cases have been detected.

Sukur Mohammed Sheikh, 65, of Ambarpur village died on July 20 and Modina Khatoon, 12, of Goribpur died three days later of anthrax. However, the district administration was informed about the deaths later and none were admitted to hospital.

The first anthrax case was detected last month at Hitanpur, where 20 people were taken ill after consuming flesh of an ill cow. Sixteen people were detected with the disease on July 20 at Ambarpur and eight more were taken ill at Goribpur on July 23.

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