Anthrax scare doubles trouble in Bengal

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Cooch Behar, Feb 4 (UNI) West Bengal has not yet recouped from the avian flu menace even as another deadly virus has tightened its grip in some districts of the State.

Cooch Behar District Magistrate Rajesh Sinha today confirmed that the dreaded Anthrax virus has attacked some cattleheads in the district.

Panic created when about 14 cows died in Vurungamari and Vojonechora villages under Mathabhanga subdivision in the district in the last few days.

The veterinary officials, who went to the spot, diagnosed the presence of the deadly virus in the blood of the dead cattle, Mr Sinha said.

''The cows died after blood oozed out from their nostrils,'' he said adding that vaccination programme has already started in the affected areas.

The adminsitration had already directed the villagers not to use cows milk and asked them not to take the cattle to the field for grazing.

On February one, killing of about nine cattleheads, including cows, goats and bulls, was reported from English Bazar in Malda since January 25.

District Magistrate Chitta Ranjan Das said suspected anthrax might be the cause.

''A mysterious disease also killed some 2000 wild bees in an abondoned house at English Bazar, creating panic among the local residents,'' Mr Das said.

The samples of the dead were sent to Bhopal's High Security Animals Diseases Laboratory for tests, he added.

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