The disease anthrax has been identified in a dead horse in the east of Poland near the border with Ukraine, a local veterinary official told Reuters on Tuesday.
“Anthrax has been identified in one horse, which died. In the herd there are another six mares. They have been quarantined. They are not showing symptoms, they have a normal temperature,” said Janina Wojtas, county veterinary officer in Tomaszow Lubelski, eastern Poland.
Anthrax commonly infects grazing animals and can pass to humans either by direct contact with diseased animals or by eating meat from them, which means that an outbreak can affect a country’s meat exports. Most forms of the bacterial disease are lethal, although some forms can be treated with antibiotics.
Veterinary authorities in Hungary said this week they had found two cases of anthrax in cattle, and one person received medical treatment for symptoms. Anthrax bacteria can spread when wells become contaminated either after floods or prolonged drought. The last recorded anthrax case in Poland dates to 2001, according to Paris-based international animal health organisation OIE.