Where does anthrax occur in Australia?

Anthrax occurs in Australia, most commonly in New South Wales, in what is known as the ‘anthrax belt’ (extending the length of Central New South Wales, into Victoria, and into southern Queensland).

Is anthrax common in Australia?

Anthrax is now very rare in Australia. Since 2001 there have only been three human cases of anthrax in Australia, in 2006, 2007 and 2010. All of these cases had skin infections caused by exposure to anthrax spores.

Where is anthrax from?

Anthrax is a rare infectious disease caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Anthrax occurs naturally around the world in wild and domestic hoofed animals, especially cattle, sheep, goats, camels and antelopes.

How anthrax is spread in sheep?

Anthrax is a bacterial disease of animals, most commonly seen in cattle, sheep and goats. Anthrax is usually transmitted by feed and water contaminated with spores, which can last in soil for many years. The primary sign of anthrax in grazing animals is sudden death, often with bloody discharges.

Where is the anthrax belt in NSW?

Cases of anthrax in NSW tend to occur in an area which runs through the centre of the state and into Victoria. The area lies approximately between Bourke and Moree in the north, to Albury and Deniliquin in the south.

How did anthrax get in Australia?

Anthrax occurs among grazing animals in many parts of the world, including livestock in parts of Australia, most commonly in central New South Wales in what is known as the ‘anthrax belt’ which stretches from central-east Queensland into northern Victoria.

When was the last case of anthrax?


Incident Date Casualties
Sverdlovsk anthrax leak 2 September 1979 Around 105 victims.
2001 anthrax attacks 18 September 2001 5 deaths 17 infected
2014 anthrax outbreak October 2014 7 deaths
2016 anthrax outbreak July 2016 1 human death (~100 infected) 2,300 animal deaths

Is anthrax a man made virus?

Anthrax is a serious infectious disease caused by gram-positive, rod-shaped bacteria known as Bacillus anthracis. It occurs naturally in soil and commonly affects domestic and wild animals around the world. People can get sick with anthrax if they come in contact with infected animals or contaminated animal products.

Can you catch anthrax from a cow?

Anthrax can cause severe illness in both humans and animals. Anthrax is not contagious, which means you can’t catch it from another person like the cold or flu.

How can you tell if a cow has anthrax?

Cattle, sheep, and goats—Clinical signs of peracute anthrax in cattle, sheep, and goats include staggering, trembling, breathing difficulty, convulsions, and death. Progression of the disease is rapid and premonitory signs may go unnoticed; often animals are found dead, bloated, and without rigor mortis.

Is anthrax common in India?

In South Asia, anthrax is highly endemic particularly in India and Bangladesh where frequent outbreaks and cases are reported among animals and humans despite limited laboratory and epidemiologic capacity.

How Can anthrax be prevented in Australia?

Thorough hand washing and showering with soap is also a very important protection against infection. In some cases where a person has had significant exposure to anthrax spores, antibiotics may be needed to help prevent infection.