Anthrax outbreak in Laos prompts raw meat warning in Thailand

Picture courtesy of Thairath

Kenika Ounjit, a deputy government spokesperson, yesterday revealed a public health warning from the Department of Livestock Development. The warning urged the public to refrain from consuming raw meat. This follows a report of an anthrax outbreak in Laos, published on the World Forum Facebook page on Wednesday.

According to the report, three cases of anthrax were identified on March 4 in the Soukhoumma district of the Lao province of Champasak. This province shares a border with Thailand’s eastern Ubon Ratchathani province, raising concerns for potential cross-border transmission, said Kenika, highlighting raw beef, buffalo, goat, and sheep meat as potential carriers of the bacterium.

“The meat must be thoroughly cooked.”

Kenika went on to describe anthrax as a deadly disease caused by Bacillus anthracis that contaminates soil or grass, which livestock may consume.

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Ingestion of the bacteria by livestock often results in the blood turning black, followed by death. The consumption of uncooked meat from these contaminated animals can then transmit the disease to humans.

Kenika outlined the signs of infection, which can manifest within two months, ranging from minor skin blisters, headaches, and diarrhoea to severe shortness of breath. A delayed diagnosis of an anthrax infection can be fatal.

She further revealed that the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives instructed the Department of Livestock Development to ramp up surveillance measures to prevent the disease from entering Thailand. She added that stringent animal quarantine measures and checks for smuggled livestock along the Thai-Lao border have been ordered, reported Bangkok Post.

Farmers have also been requested to report any sudden animal deaths. Kenika concluded by stating there is currently no such outbreak in Thailand, but vaccines have been prepared for cattle as a preventative measure.

In related news, a Thai doctor issued a warning to both locals and foreigners after a Japanese man contracted a tapeworm from eating Thai-style raw meat dishes.

Thailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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