Wiltshire farm on lockdown as Government confirms case of anthrax

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A FARM in the Westbury area is on lockdown after the Government confirmed a case of anthrax among its cattle.

The carcass of a single cow has been incinerated and movement restrictions are in place in the area. No other animals have been affected.

The previous outbreak in livestock in Great Britain was in 2006.

“An isolated case of anthrax in a cow has been confirmed at a farm in the Westbury area of Wiltshire following the death of a cow at the end of last week,” confirmed a statement.

“This case was rapidly detected and colleagues from Public Health England, Wiltshire Council, DEFRA, Environment Agency and APHA worked swiftly together to take robust action. The cow has been incinerated and movement restrictions are in place at the farm.

“The risk of infection in close human contacts of the animal is very low, and partners are in touch with any potential contacts to offer public health advice however there are no risks to the wider community.”

Human cases of the disease are very rare – with the most recent in 2008.

Anthrax symptoms begin with a flu-like illness, followed by respiratory difficulties.

Direct contact with anthrax can cause raised boil-like lesions on the skin which develop a black centre. This skin infection normally responds to early treatment with antibiotics.

If you inhale anthrax spores, they can cause damage to the lungs, which is often fatal.

Anthrax is spread when its spores are inhaled, ingested, or come into contact with skin lesions.

The spores can survive for decades or even centuries. They are found on infected animal carcasses, wool, hair and hides.

For more information on the disease, visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/anthrax-how-to-spot-and-report-the-disease.

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