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

Longtime Shuswap school bus driver takes one last ride

Kathy Keam drove students on the same bus route for 38 years

Dogs called heroes in Blind Bay residential blaze

Homeonwers safe but one pet missing, another confirmed dead following fire

Semi in ditch slows Highway 97 traffic north of Vernon

The accident occurred near Irish Creek Road Thursday, Jan. 17

Freezing rain, some snow forecasted for Okanagan-Similkameen-Shuswap

Environment Canada forecasting freezing rain and snow for much of the region

Salmon Arm youth eyes national event in meeting with Justin Trudeau

Friendship Day founder Brody Paton shares vision for national event with prime minister

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

Remorse high for Vernon man sentenced for car surfing death

Driver of car that killed friend who was car surfing gets nine months in jail

Shuswap curlers hit the ice in Salmon Arm Curling Club’s Stick Bonspiel

Annual event enters 12th year, sees 24 teams enter

Two Silverbacks’ alumni nominated for Hobey Baker Memorial Award

Taro Hirose and Chase Priskie in the running for prestigious varsity award

In limbo: Leftover embryos challenge clinics, couples

Some are outright abandoned by people who quit paying storage fees and other couples struggle with tough decisions

BREAKING: Jury finds man accused of killing B.C. girl, 12, guilty

Twelve-year-old Monica Jack disappeared in May 1978 while riding her bike along a highway in Merritt, B.C.

AC/DC tribute ready to rock Okanagan

Vernon, Kelowna and Penticton stops on LA Bonfire tour

B.C. government extends coastal log export rules for six months

Premier John Horgan promises reform at loggers’ convention

Most Read