WEDNESDAY, April 17, 2024
nationthailand

Eat only cooked meat, Thai agency urges after anthrax outbreak in Laos

Eat only cooked meat, Thai agency urges after anthrax outbreak in Laos

Thailand has tightened precautionary measures and intensified scrutiny at animal checkpoints along the Thai-Laos border after cases of anthrax have been identified in the neighbouring country.

The Department of Livestock issued a warning on Saturday, linking the cause of the outbreak to the consumption of raw beef and buffalo meat.

On March 7, international reports confirmed three cases of anthrax in Sukhuma, Jam Pha Sak province, located in the southern part of Laos.

Anthrax is caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Animals typically contract this disease by inhaling spores of the bacterium present in contaminated soil or grass, or by consuming water and food contaminated with the spores. Once the bacterium enters the animal's body, it rapidly multiplies, producing toxins that lead to illness and, ultimately, death in the affected animals.

Among diseased animals, the bacteria are expelled through faeces, urine, or milk. When the carcass is opened, the bacteria in contact with air can form spores, allowing them to persist in the environment for an extended period. Afflicted cattle, buffalo, goats, and sheep typically exhibit acute symptoms, rapidly succumbing to the disease. Profuse dark, bloody discharge flows from various orifices, and the carcass does not stiffen.

Eat only cooked meat, Thai agency urges after anthrax outbreak in Laos

In humans who either dissect or consume meat from animals with fully developed diseases, there are noticeable symptoms. Consuming raw or undercooked meat can lead to wounds that look like holes in the fingers, hands, or oral cavity, accompanied by abdominal pain. Delayed detection of the disease can result in fatalities for humans.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, through the Department of Livestock, has elevated precautionary measures to prevent the spread of disease.

Animal checkpoints have been set up along the Thailand-Laos border to intensify inspection for the clandestine import of live cattle, buffalo, goats, and sheep, as well as their products. Preparedness in terms of vaccines for disease prevention is being ensured.

Eat only cooked meat, Thai agency urges after anthrax outbreak in Laos

The ministry said it was also seeking the cooperation of livestock farmers in caring for their animals, emphasising the importance of maintaining the health, strength, and constant observation of their livestock. It strongly urged people to only consume meat that had been thoroughly cooked and sourced from known origins.

"If farmers or the general public encounter cattle, buffalo, goats, or sheep showing sudden abnormal symptoms or experiencing unexplained deaths, they are strictly prohibited from opening the carcasses, moving or processing them for consumption. Promptly report the situation to livestock officials, volunteer veterinarians, village leaders, or the local administrative organisation officers in the area. Alternatively, use the DLD 4.0 application or call the emergency hotline at 063-225-6888 for immediate assistance to farmers," Kenika Aunjit, deputy government spokesperson, said.

nationthailand