First anthrax infection in 17 years detected in Thailand

First anthrax infection in 17 years detected in Thailand
PHOTO: The Nation/Asia News Network

Lab tests have confirmed the first anthrax infection in Thailand in 17 years.

Public Health Ministry permanent secretary Jedsada Chokdamrongsuk said on Tuesday that a person had caught anthrax after butchering goats smuggled into Thailand from "a neighbouring country".

The patient lives in Mae Sot district's Tambon Mahawan in Tak province, which borders Myanmar.

Jedsada said the last anthrax infection 17 years ago was also detected in Mae Sot. "I have just received a report from the Medical Sciences Department that one of the two patients being monitored has tested positive for anthrax," he said.

The results from tests on the other patient had not been finalised, he said.

Jedsada made the statement after officials checked residents in Tambon Mahawan following reports that people had developed sores on their hands, which is a symptom that can be caused by anthrax.

Following the reports, officials also checked about 700 goats in the area.

Local goats were determined to be healthy and did not show signs of anthrax.

The Livestock Development Department has suspended the import of goats at the Tambon Mahawan border checkpoint as a safety measure and to restore consumer confidence.

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