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 Anthrax in Takalar kills more than just animals

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BerichtOnderwerp: Anthrax in Takalar kills more than just animals   Anthrax in Takalar kills more than just animals Icon_minitimevr 31 mei 2013 - 8:31

The Jakarta Globe, Fri, May 31 2013,

One resident is dead and another 11 infected with what appears to be anthrax in Pappa subdistrict, Patalassang district, in Takalar regency, South Sulawesi, numbers are correct as of Thursday.

The victims were infected after coming into contact and consuming horse meat.

A housewife, Rustini Abbas, 25, died on Tuesday after two days of treatment at Pajonga Daeng Ngalle Hospital in Takalar.

Rustini, who was seven months pregnant, was rushed to hospital on Sunday after complaining of stomach aches and breathing difficulties. On Sunday evening, she gave birth to her child, who later died.

“Two hours later, her stomach gradually got bigger. Doctors thought her uterus had ruptured, so they decided to perform surgery and discovered her intestines had turned red. She also had a wound on her left arm that resembled an ulcer, very similar to the symptoms of anthrax,” head of Takalar Health Agency’s disease control section, Insyaf, said on Thursday.

Rustini’s husband, Daeng Kulle, said that before complaining of stomach aches, she had eaten the meat of a recently slaughtered horse. She had also handled the raw meat.

Another resident, Rabbania Ummi, 40, was rushed to the Wahidin Sudirohusodo General Hospital in Makassar last week as her condition deteriorated. She has an acute ulcer on her neck.

Based on The Jakarta Post’s observations at the location on Thursday, the residents symptoms were indeed similar; all displayed discolored black swellings surrounding ulcer-like wounds.

A number of residents said they initially felt itchy but the wounds became red and painful. They also suffered from high-temperature fever.

“The swellings turned into blisters and then ulcers,” said Daeng Manna, 54, who had an ulcer on his left leg.

Daeng Manna, was the individual who butchered the horse. His left leg was accidentally cut by the teeth of the horse.

He then sold the meat to residents at Rp 50,000 (US$5.09) per kilogram.

A few days later, one by one residents showed similar signs of ill health. The local health agency only learned about the case on Wednesday, after the death of Rustini.

Takalar Health Agency’s head of Environmental Health and Disease Control division, Nasir Bunga said his office had deployed medical workers to investigate the case.

The incident was declared an extraordinary occurrence (KLB) and reported to the South Sulawesi Health Agency.

Anthrax is endemic to Takalar. Each year, the disease recurs and kills livestock. Three years ago, three residents in Mangarabombang and Polongbangkeng Utara districts were infected by the disease.

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