Second case of anthrax found in South Dakota | TheFencePost.com

Second case of anthrax found in South Dakota

South Dakota State Veterinarian

Rod-shaped gram-positive Bacillus anthracis (anthrax) bacteria in a cerebrospinal fluid sample stand out from round white blood cells.

Anthrax is responsible for recent death loss in a cattle herd in Bon Homme County, South Dakota.

State Veterinarian Dustin Oedekoven says that at least four adult cattle died suddenly in the herd, which had not been vaccinated against anthrax.

He also confirmed anthrax killed eight cows from a herd of 87 unvaccinated cattle in Clark County, South Dakota.

Anthrax spores survive indefinitely in contaminated alkaline soils and nearly all areas of South Dakota have the potential of experiencing an outbreak under ideal climatic conditions. Significant climate changes such as drought, floods and wind can expose anthrax spores to grazing livestock.

Livestock producers are advised that anthrax should be suspected in cases of sudden death loss. Affected animals are often found dead with no prior illness detected. Suspicious cases should be reported immediately to a local veterinarian or to the state veterinarian at the South Dakota Animal Industry Board. Anthrax is transmissible to people and other animals. Precaution and veterinarian guidance should be taken in handling, moving or disturbing carcasses that are suspected to have died of anthrax.

An effective vaccine is available to protect livestock from anthrax, and producers across the state should consult their veterinarians regarding appropriate vaccination protocols. Strict enforcement of quarantines and proper disposal of carcasses from livestock suspected to have died from anthrax is important to prevent further soil contamination with the bacterial spores. ❖