The first anthrax case in Texas for 2015 has been confirmed in equine in Uvalde County. The premises is located approximately 25 miles northwest of Uvalde. The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) has quarantined the premises. TAHC rules require proper disposal of affected carcasses and vaccination of livestock on the premises prior to release of the quarantine.
Anthrax is a bacterial disease caused by Bacillus anthracis, which is a naturally occurring organism with worldwide distribution, including certain parts of Texas. (It is not uncommon for anthrax to be diagnosed in the southwestern part of the state.) A vaccine is available for use in susceptible livestock in high risk areas.
Acute fever followed by rapid death with bleeding from body openings are common signs of anthrax in livestock. Carcasses may also appear bloated and decompose quickly. Livestock displaying symptoms consistent with anthrax should be reported to a private veterinary practitioner or a TAHC official. If affected livestock or carcasses must be handled, producers are encouraged to follow basic sanitation precautions such as wearing protective gloves, long sleeve shirts and washing thoroughly afterward to prevent accidental spread of the bacteria to people.
"The TAHC will continue to closely monitor the situation for possible new cases across the state. Producers are encouraged to consult their veterinary practitioner or local TAHC office if they have questions about the disease in livestock and their medical professional if they have concerns about anthrax exposure," said Dr. T.R. Lansford, TAHC Assistant Executive Director for Animal Health Programs.
For more information regarding anthrax, contact your local TAHC region or call 1-800-550-8242 or visit www.tahc.texas.gov.
To learn more about anthrax, visit the TAHC's brochure at http://www.tahc.state.tx.us/news/brochures/TAHCBrochure_Anthrax.pdf.