Sunday, December 05, 2021

Baguio meat supply 'anthrax-free'

BAGUIO CITY - The Office of the City Veterinarian said meat supply in this city remains free from anthrax but still reminded public to be vigilant on the food they eat.

"There is nothing to be afraid about," said City Veterinarian Brigit Piok but iterated the consuming public should be meticulous in choosing meat products and if possible, inquire about where the meat they bought comes from.

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Piok said the consumption remains safe as the National Meat Inspection Commission regularly inspects the city's meat supply adding that animals butchered at the city abattoir are also disease-free.

Bulk of meat supply sold in the city public market comes from Pangasinan and La Union provinces.

Earlier, health authorities in the Cordillera Administrative Region warned the public to be wary against eating double-dead meat for it may be infected with anthrax.

The Center for Health Development (CHD) in Baguio City issued an advisory that double-dead meat should not be butchered, eaten, or used as feed supplements from the meat of animals, which died of unknown causes.

The advisory also urged the public to immediately report to municipal agricultural officers about any animals, which died of unexplained causes for proper investigation and disposal or have all animals immunized to avoid further spread of the disease.

The advisory was issued following the spread of anthrax to 41 residents in Villaviciosa town in Abra province in May. The affected residents reportedly showed clinical symptoms and visual manifestations of anthrax after eating meat of a dead carabao with unexplained death.

The residents have reportedly developed skin lesions caused by cutaneous anthrax. Cutaneous anthrax is identified by the itching of an exposed skin surface followed by a lesion and a black scar.

Anthrax has three types: the cutaneous or skin anthrax, inhalation or lung anthrax, and intestinal or digestive anthrax.

Anthrax is caused by Bacillus anthracis, a bacterium that forms spores. It is primarily a disease of herbivores but humans and carnivores are incidental hosts of the bacteria.

The anthrax disease, which caused a scare during the early 2000 in the United States, usually affects the skin and lungs, but which may very rarely involve the throat or intestinal tract.

The CHD advised the public that anthrax infection is transmitted by contact with tissue of animals such as cattle, sheep, goats, horses, and pigs dying of the disease.

It may also be contacted through inhalation of Bacillus anthracis spores produced by industrial processes such as tanning hides and processing wool or bone, and eating of contaminated undercooked meat.

Last March, two persons died and at least 400 others were infected with anthrax in a remote village in the province of Cagayan.

Cagayan Provincial Health officials said 13 residents of San Pedro village in Lasam town suffered stomach aches and difficulty in breathing.

The anthrax bacteria came from a contaminated double-dead carabao meat sold to villagers. (Rimaliza OpiƱa of Sun.Star Baguio/Sunnex)
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