Oct. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Italy reported seven new cases of anthrax in livestock since last week as the deadly animal disease spreads in the country’s south, bringing affected farms to 26 since the first confirmation in September.
The illness killed cattle, sheep and horses or donkeys on seven farms across four towns southeast of Naples, Italy’s Ministry of Health said in an alert today published online by the Paris-based World Organization of Animal Health, or OIE. One of the towns had no previous occurrence.
Anthrax, which has been used as a biological weapon, is caused by spores of the bacterium Bacillus anthracis and can survive in soil years after an outbreak, according to the OIE. Livestock typically become infected by ingesting spores from the soil or in feed, according to the group.
Animals died on four farms in Pietrapertosa as well as on farms in Corleto Perticara and Padula, adding to previously reported cases, according to the alert. Italy also found anthrax in Laurenzana, the first case there, it showed.
The outbreak continues, and measures to fight the disease include animal-movement controls and disinfection of infected farms, the animal-health group said. Livestock is not being vaccinated, the OIE said.
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