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2 cutaneous anthrax cases confirmed in E China

(Xinhua)

16:33, August 13, 2012

BEIJING - Two cases of cutaneous anthrax have been confirmed in Lianyungang of East China's Jiangsu province, a spokesman for the Ministry of Health said here Monday.

Skin irritations were found among seven villagers in Lianyungang, said Deng Haihua, the ministry spokesman at a press conference here.

The symptoms of the other five villagers were not typical, but they have also been placed under medical observation, he said.

All seven villagers are in stable, non-serious conditions, he added.

The infected villagers were believed to have taken part in killing a sick cow.

Cutaneous, or skin, anthrax is the least serious form of the disease. It is usually contracted when a person with a cut or sore on their skin comes into direct, unprotected contact with anthrax spores on a sick or dead animal.

The provincial health department responded shortly after the events were reported. Medical teams were sent to treat the villagers and sanitize the farm and their residences, Deng said.

Health departments will raise the monitoring level on anthrax and help educate local people about the disease, he said.

Agricultural departments were also informed of the events, he said.

"We will closely follow the development of these cases and make sure the disease is under control," he said.

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