Anthrax Discovered In Wiltshire Cow As Public Health England Urge Calm, Saying Human Infection Risk Is Low

A case of anthrax has been discovered in a cow in Wiltshire - the first case in an animal since 2006, health authorities have said.

Public Health England (PHE) urged calm, adding: "The risk of infection in close human contacts of the animal is very low."

The case was "isolated" and the cow's body was incinerated after its death. Movement restrictions were imposed on the farm afterwards and no other animal was affected, PHE said.

An isolated case of anthrax disease in a cow was confirmed at a farm in Wiltshire in October 2015 following the death of the cow. Movement restrictions were imposed at the farm and the animal’s carcase was incinerated. No other animals have been affected.

Mike Wade, deputy director of Health Protection for PHE South West, said: "We are aware of a confirmed case of anthrax disease in a cow in the Westbury area of Wiltshire.

"The risk of infection in close human contacts of the animal is very low, and we are in touch with any potential contacts to offer public health advice."

Anthrax is caused by the organism Bacillus anthracis, which can be found in cattle or other hoofed mammals.

A man died in 2006 in Scotland of the disease, which was believed to be the first case of it for 20 years. It was the last outbreak in Britain.

Anthrax is a bacterial disease which primarily affects herbivorous animals, although all mammals are susceptible to infection.

Human cases of anthrax are very rare - with the last case occurring in 2008.

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