Anthrax spores can lead to skin infections and sores when they occur in soil and lung infections when they are airborne. (Wikimedia Commons)

‘Naturally occurring’ anthrax kills 13 bison in northeastern B.C.

Health officials say there is no risk to the public

Naturally-occurring anthrax has killed 13 bison on a farm near Fort St. John in B.C.’s Peace region between Oct. 14-16.

Officials believe the animals were infected by exposure to dormant anthrax spores in the soil of a feeding site, which is no longer being used, the provincial government said Wednesday in a release. It did not say when the deaths occured.

No other animals in the 150-head herd were infected, nor were any people. There is no risk to the general public.

An anthrax vaccine for livestock is available and the rest of the herd on the farm will be vaccinated.

Officials have identified people who might have been in contact with the infection’s source and are following up with them.

Anthrax occurs naturally in livestock on the Prairies and northern Alberta. The bacteria can remain dormant in soil under certain conditions for years.

In soil, it can cause ores and infection on the skin of people who touch it. It can be treated with antibiotics and is considered much less dangerous than airborne anthrax.

The last case of human anthrax in Canada was when two people in Saskatchewan were infected in 2006 during an outbreak among mainly cattle. Their pair recovered fully.

An agriculture ministry spokesperson said that this was the first confirmed case of anthrax in animals in B.C., although veterinary literature describes a possible case 50 years ago.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

NDSS Islanders win Island volleyball championship

Nanaimo District defeats Carihi three sets to one in AAA Vancouver Island final in Victoria

Kw’umut Lelum expanding its services off-reserve

Child and family support services will be available through new Prideaux Street office

Changes coming to BC Ferries reservations for Vancouver Island routes

Many customers are booking multiple reservations, inflating wait times

VIU Mariners women finish fall undefeated

Women’s basketball team in first place in the PacWest at the break, men’s team tied for first

With tax changes coming, Nanaimo school trustees debate pay raise

New Canada Revenue Agency taxation for school trustees takes effect in January

Barsby Bulldogs bite GW Graham in high school football playoffs

Nanaimo high school senior team wins 49-20, advances to face top-ranked Vernon

Great Nanaimo Toy Drive begins its campaign leading up to Christmas

The 36th Great Nanaimo Toy Drive will make sure children have presents on Christmas morning

Deportation averted for Putin critic who feared return to Russia

Elena Musikhina, a vocal critic of the Kremlin, has been granted a two-year visitor’s permit in Canada

Outreach group ordered to stop feeding homeless on City of Parksville property

City issued Manna Homeless Society cease and desist order after complaints from public

Victim’s girlfriend testifies on first day of 2016 Chemainus murder trial

“I was soaked in blood from the neck down”: witness

B.C. to allow Uber-style ride hailing services to operate in late 2019

Fee will be applied to fund options for disabled people

Auditor general takes aim at Liberals’ fighter-jet plan

Suditor general Michael Ferguson is about to release a new report on Canada’s attempts to buy new fighter jets

B.C. couple converts ambulance into a traveling home

The Revelstoke couple plan on touring B.C. ski hills then driving to Mexico

Cyclist defecates, throws own poop at car following B.C. crash

Man defecates in the street before throwing it at a driver locked in her vehicle

Most Read