Monday, December 1, 2008

Anthrax poses new threat in cholera-hit Zimbabwe: charity

HARARE (AFP) — An anthrax outbreak has killed three people and threatens to wipe out livestock in northern Zimbabwe, compounding the nation's struggle against cholera which has killed hundreds, a charity said Monday.

Two children and one adult in the Zambezi Valley have died of the disease, which also threatens to kill 60,000 livestock in the region, Save the Children, a British non-government group, said in a statement.

Anthrax is a highly contagious infection that usually only afflicts livestock, but can be transmitted to humans who handle or eat infected animals.

Rachel Pounds, Save the Children's country director in Zimbabwe, said devastating food shortages were leading families to eat meat even from animals they know have died of anthrax.

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