MANILA – Two persons died and at least 400 others were infected with anthrax in a remote village in Cagayan province, a health official said.

Dr. Danilo Alonzo, Cagayan provincial health officer, said in a television interview early Tuesday that 13 residents of San Pedro village in Lasam town were rushed to a local hospital Friday complaining of stomach aches and difficulty in breathing.

Most of the victims were treated at Lasam General Hospital, in Lasam town. Thirteen residents, mostly children, remain confined at the Cagayan Valley Medical Center Tuesday.

He said the anthrax virus was traced from a contaminated double dead carabao meat sold to villagers on credit bases. The animal reportedly died on February 19 and was butchered by its owner and sold to residents on credit basis.

Alonzo confirmed the death of the two residents but declined to identify the victims.

Anthrax is a life-threatening infectious disease that normally affects animals, especially ruminants. The agent of anthrax is a bacterium called Bacillus anthracis. (Sunnex)