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Anthrax confirmed in North Dakota
Bismarck, N.D. - Two cases of anthrax have been confirmed in animals in North Dakota so far this year.
- Two cases of anthrax have been confirmed in animals in North Dakota so far this year.
The North Dakota Department of Agriculture warned livestock producers in Ransom and Traill counties, where the cases were confirmed, and across the state to consult their veterinarians and get their animals vaccinated.
This isn't the first time anthrax has been confirmed in the state. In 2005, 109 cases in 16 counties, including Ransom and Traill, were confirmed. At that time, Ransom had 38 cases and Traill had two.
In 2006, there were just four confirmed cases in four counties, according to the agriculture department.
"Keep in mind that, while anthrax has been most frequently reported in northeast, southeast and south central North Dakota, it has been found in almost every part of the state," says Dr. Susan Keller, state veterinarian.
Keller said anthrax vaccine is effective and readily available, but takes about a week for immunity to be established, and it must administered annually.
"One of the two cases so far this year involved a horse that had received its first shot but no follow-up vaccine," she said. "Producers should check with their veterinarians to make sure the vaccination schedule for their animals is adequate and maintained."Keller said producers should monitor herds for unexpected deaths and report them to their veterinarians.
"With the precipitation we have had, conditions are right for the disease to occur," she said.
Keller said the 2005 outbreak should serve as a warning about the danger of anthrax to grazing animals. More than 500 confirmed deaths from anthrax were reported that year, and total losses were estimated at more than 1,000 head, including cattle, bison, horses, sheep, llamas and farmed deer and elk.