Central team visits Anthrax hit villages in Orissa

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Jeypore, Feb 08 (UNI) A Central team led by Dr N C Panda from the National Infectious Disease Prevention Centre (NIDP) today visited Lohaba village under Semliguda block in Koraput district, where four tribals have died and 11 infected with the dreaded anthrax in the recent past.

Official sources here said the team would collect the blood samples of the victims for further testing prior to the arrival of another team lead by noted microbiologist U V Rana from New Delhi on February 11.

At least eleven people have died of Anthrax during 2007 and four them alone died in the village after consumption of contaminated beef.

The team would also likely to visit Narayanpatna, Bandhagaon, Laxmipur and Semliguda, which had reported Anthrax in the past.

These villages, located close to the Andhra Pradesh border, are mostly inhabited by the 'Kandh' tribe, who have the normal habit of consuming beef of the cattle, died of any disease, available at a very cheap price.

Every year on an average 15 to 20 people succumb to the Anthrax disease in Koraput district.

The dreaded disease was first detected in the Ramgiri forest in 1993, when four tribals died after consuming the contaminated beef.

During the last five years as many as 40 tribals have died while over 230 tribals had been infected with the disease.

The expert team would submit its report to the Centre to chalk out a preventive strategy in the anthrax affected villages of the district.

UNI XC DP PP KLC1333

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