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Published On: Fri, Jun 7th, 2013

Minnesota Animal Board reports anthrax death in Pennington County cow

The Minnesota Board of Animal Health confirmed today that one four-year-old cow in Pennington County died of anthrax earlier this week, according to a news release today.

Bacillus anthracis

Anthrax Image/CIA

According to officials, the cow was found dead on the farm on Monday. Samples were collected on Tuesday and sent to the North Dakota State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Fargo, North Dakota. The Board received confirmation of the positive anthrax diagnosis on June 6.

The herd had not been vaccinated for the disease and will remain under quarantine for 30 days after the last death.

Anthrax is a pathogen in livestock and wild animals. Some of the more common herbivores are cattle, sheep, goats, horses, camels and deers.

It infects humans primarily through occupational or incidental exposure with infected animals of their skins.

Anthrax is caused by the bacterium, Bacillus anthracis. This spore forming bacteria can survive in the environment for years because of its ability to resist heat, cold, drying, etc. this is usually the infectiousstage of anthrax.

When conditions become favorable, the spores germinate into colonies of bacteria. An example would be a grazing cow ingests spores that in the cow, germinate, grow spread and eventually kill the animal.

The bacteria will form spores in the carcass and then return to the soil to infect other animals. The vegetative form is rarely implicated in transmission.

There are no reports of person-to-person transmission of anthrax. People get anthrax by handling contaminated animal or animal products, consuming undercooked meat of infected animals and more recently, intentional release of spores.

There are three types of human anthrax with differing degrees of seriousness: cutaneous, gastrointestinal and inhalation.

This is the first documented case of the disease in Minnesota since 2008.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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