Anthrax found on Swedish farm

A case of anthrax has been discovered at a cattle farm outside Örebro, in central Sweden. The diagnose was set on Sunday by the National Veterinary Institute (Statens veterinärmedicinska anstalt - SVA).

The Swedish Board of Agriculture (Jordbruksverket) has now taken measures to avoid the infection spreading.

There is no threat to public safety.

One cow has been found carrying the infection. But over the past week several animals have died on the affected farm.

“We suspect that several have died of the same cause. But we’ve only tested one animal. The farm has a total of roughly 80 animals, and between 10 to 20 of them died recently,” said Gunilla Hallgren, veterinary at SVA, to news agency TT.

According to SVA, there’s no risk the the infection will spread to other farms.

“We think this is an old infection that has resurfaced following some digging in the cow field. We’ve received some unconfirmed information that there were anthrax graves there. But the infection doesn’t spread through the air,” said Hallgren.

“Only dying or dead animals are contagious, and these animals are never in the food supply chain.”

SVA states that the disease occurs practically worldwide. The latest Swedish case was found in 2008 – prior to that, no case had been discovered since 1981.

Humans can be infected if they have close contact with animals who are dying of the disease, or have died.

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