Bulgarian Man Dies of Anthrax: Large Scale Disinfection Follows

in Infectious Diseases/Outbreak Watch by

According to the news report of Focus-Fen, a man died of Anthrax in a Bulgarian village called Mlada Gvardiya in the coastal district of Varna, sparking off a large scale disinfection. The man gave a history of butchering his cow, which is also suspected to have died of anthrax. Then he allegedly passed meat to an illegal meat processing plant (VideoNews) before dumping the remains in a landfill. It is likely that several other cattle may have been exposed to it, necessitating immediate response so that the impending epizootic could be controlled.

In addition, this incident highlights the importance of having a rapid surveillance and response system in place because once such an event happens, the public health system ends up playing catch up. The news reports are sketchy at best and probably gloss over the more specific details of the disinfection, quarantine and vaccination processes that are going on at the affected site; however, the truth remains that there has been a death and there are a large number of people and animals who have likely been exposed to the potentially dangerous remnants of the dead cow. It is also a matter of grave concern that the deceased farmer actually cut his hand while slaughtering and flaying the dead cow but did not seek any medical assistance for it. This indicates a deep seated ignorance of the risks of zoonotic diseases which is a real problem from the public health angle.

A computer translation of the official communication goes:

TO DR V.SHARKOV
Deputy Minister
MH
SOFIA
PL. “Sveta Nedelya” â„– 5

 

                          
DEAR DR SHARKOV,

As a result of continued epidemiological study for the performance of which received full support from the MOI, we Disclosure following information:
They formed two teams of employees of RHI Varna and RFSDs – Varna.
The first team formed by employees of RHI Varna take action in tracing the patient after his call for an emergency to the declaration of death in OILNB.
The second team was formed with participants RFSDs – Varna and Varna RHI for epizootic and epidemiological study created anthrax outbreak in s.Mlada Guard Municipality Vetrino main task tracing meat from the slaughtered animal, specifying the number of persons appearing to contact and taking anti and anti-epizootic measures. Taken initial epizootic measures are related to foreclosure putting the herds grazing on the village Young Guard to placing the immunization of animals against anthrax. During the study are not received or found evidence of other diseased animals in other farms of the village, and information about the flock of sheep of the deceased patient is controversial. According to the latest month ago died a few sheep from his flock, but according to his wife, who also takes care of the flock will die animals. The herd consists of 105 sheep and 27 cows. The animals are carried out in the farmyard of the victim, and grazing animals with other herds of the village.
Suspicious for anthrax cow after giving signs of any disease 07.07. 2015. by earning foam and blood from the mouth of the victim is stuck together with three other persons involved in cutting. The deceased during slaughter cut his hand, but had not sought medical attention.
The slaughtered cow was flayed by the deceased and is cut into 4 pieces. Around the eighth or ninth day of July 2015., Carcass meat is sold to a person of Bozveliysko, Municipality Provadia and transported to the village by personal transport -mikrobus. In the same village the meat is cut into a warehouse by three other persons, one of whom is Bozveliysko and two of Devnya. Bones from carcasses are disposed of illegally dump, located about Bozveliysko.
Cut meat according to three participants with personal transportation is transported to Varna quarter. “Asparuhovo” cutting plant “Donate”. They reported that the meat is processed sausage, it is mixed with pork. Cooked sausages were distributed among the participants. The owner of the cutting in the quarter. “Asparuhovo” categorically denied receiving meat and it is cooked sausages.
Made from epidemiological study found the following:
1. Consumption of liver and kidneys from deceased animal – 3 persons of Provadia
2. Consumption of sausages made from the deceased animal: 15 persons from Devnya, s.Strashimirovo municipality Beloslav and Varna.
3. Relatives of the deceased involved in cattle breeding – 2 persons / wife and son /
4. Relatives of the deceased – 3 persons carried out the last contact with him.
5. Persons had contact with meat and skin – 3
6. The skin of the skinned cow according to the purchased meat is sold in Karnobat of “Costa Karakachan.” Same questioning by police authorities in Karnobat denies purchased leather.
All persons are identified with the identifying information: names, addresses, GPs etc., As detailed established their participation in the whole process.
At 12.00 hours of 18.07.2015g. a team of officers RHI Varna, which will take place on material for microbiological examination of all of the above persons.
Currently a team of RFSDs – Varna and Civil Protection held disinfecting measures of dumpsites around s.Mlada Guard and Bozveliysko. Today is taken by the team of RFSDs Varna soil of the barn where the animals are kept and from the vicinity of s.Mlada Guard microbiological testing. Check in time from RFSDs-cutting plant in Varna kv.Asparuhovo “Varna.
Preventive measures are taken against the above persons, including antibiotic prophylaxis indication of GP medical supervision. Meeting strong resistance from the persons listed on prophylaxis with antibiotics. Currently the team that takes materials will track and antibiotic prophylaxis.
There are instructions for disinfection of all vehicles, and refrigeration facilities where meat is stored.
All of the following persons was taken epidemiological history of 17.07.2015g., There are no data on skin and they themselves reported loose stools and pain in right subcostal area or other symptoms typical of the disease ..
Epidemiological investigation continues, you will gradually get information.

With respect,

DR Dochka MIHAYLOVA
Acting Director of RHI Varna

Skeptic Oslerphile, Scientist at the Indian Council of Medical Research, National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases. Interests include: Emerging Infections, Public Health, Antimicrobial Resistance, One Health and Zoonoses, Diarrheal Diseases, Medical Education, Medical History, Open Access, Healthcare Social Media and Health2.0. Opinions are my own!

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