Croatia has reported an outbreak of anthrax in a herd of cattle. Out of 40 heads of cattle two have come down with the disease and eventually succumbed to it, bringing the case fatality rate to 100%! The diagnosis was made at necropsy of the dead cattle and following confirmation, a first report has been forwarded to the OIE. From the epidemiological summary of the outbreak as reported on the site, we see:
Although none of the other animals have shown any signs of the disease, they have been vaccinated and the measures are being placed to limit the outbreak. The affected herd has been quarantined and premises of the outbreak has been disinfected. The animals did not undergo any routine vaccination for anthrax and will now be vaccinated as part of the outbreak response. Croatia has low reported rates for anthrax and between 1956 and 1987 only about 61 people have been treated for the disease in the University hospital centres. Looking at the epidemiological graphs from GIDEON, we find that the last time Croatia had a significant problem (which is still very small in terms of absolute numbers) was way back in 2005:
These numbers may reflect that anthrax is not a big problem in the public health perspective in Croatia, but because it is dealing with such small numbers, the need to have stringent surveillance methods in place with prompt response (quarantine/vaccination or slaughtering in the worst cases) is absolutely essential. This being the first information report of the outbreak it shall be interesting to keep following it up over time and see how the situation evolves.