Tags: Anthrax | Set | Spread | the | West

Anthrax Set to Spread to the West

Thursday, 26 April 2001 12:00 AM

South Africa suffers from such extremely poor governance that veterinary and health care control standards have dangerously declined. And these problems could hurt you, even tens of thousands of miles away.

The South African government has taken steps to undermine a free press, and this has had disastrous consequences for government accountability where it counts most: in the food supply.

This "benign neglect" by the government now sees such epidemic outbreaks occurring much more regularly than before 1991. (Cholera also is rife and seemingly out of control among the human population with hundreds of deaths since late last year, whereas before 1991, such outbreaks were controlled quickly without much loss of life).

Anthrax outbreaks in South Africa have gone totally unreported.

Of deep concern are the three outbreaks of anthrax since January near Kimberley, which to this date still remain totally unreported by the South African authorities to the International Epizootic Organization in Paris.

Twenty-six people became infected with anthrax after eating infected carcass meat and required emergency treatment at Kimberley Hospital.

While anthrax is completely curable in humans with one kind of very expensive antibiotic, such medications are not widely available in South Africa. Kimberley Hospital had to send away for emergency supplies.

If such outbreaks occur more frequently, anthrax will eventually also find its way into the impoverished squatter communities of South Africa, with devastating effect in a population already 55 percent infected with HIV-AIDS and therefore vulnerable to all kinds of infections that would not normally be deadly to healthy people.

The fact that some South African cattle are now reported with anthrax in certain regions means that anthrax has escaped from the African wildlife reserves - and now could also start entering the human food chain of Western countries such as the United States and Great Britain, unless these countries continue banning all meat products from South Africa altogether.

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South Africa suffers from such extremely poor governance that veterinary and health care control standards have dangerously declined. And these problems could hurt you, even tens of thousands of miles away. The South African government has taken steps to undermine a...
Anthrax,Set,Spread,the,West
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2001-00-26
Thursday, 26 April 2001 12:00 AM
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