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Year : 2005  |  Volume : 71  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 102--105

An outbreak of cutaneous anthrax in a non-endemic district - Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh

1 Departments of Dermatology and Microbiology, Andhra Medical College, Visakhapatnam, India
2 Department of Clinical Microbiology, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India

Correspondence Address:
G Raghu Rama Rao
Dept of Dermatology, Gopal Sadan, D. No: 15-1-2C, Naoraji Road, Maharanipeta, Visakhapatnam - 530 002
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0378-6323.13994

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BACKGROUND: Anthrax is a disease of herbivorous animals, and humans incidentally acquire the disease by handling infected dead animals and their products. Sporadic cases of human anthrax have been reported from Southern India. METHODS: Five tribal men presented with painless ulcers with vesiculation and edema of the surrounding skin on the extremities without any constitutional symptoms. There was a history of slaughtering and consumption of a dead goat ten days prior to the development of skin lesions. Clinically cutaneous anthrax was suspected and smears, swabs and punch biopsies were taken for culture and identification by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). All the cases were treated with intravenous followed by oral antibiotics. Appropriate health authorities were alerted and proper control measures were employed. RESULTS: Smears from the cutaneous lesions of all five patients were positive for Bacillus anthracis and this was confirmed by a positive culture and PCR of the smears in four of the five cases. All the cases responded to antibiotics. CONCLUSION: We report five cases of cutaneous anthrax in a non-endemic district, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, for the first time.


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Online since 15th March '04
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow