Two new confirmed cases of anthrax are reported in Logan County, Colorado.
The latest discoveries are adjacent to the original anthrax report on Aug.8 in the same county.
No other livestock on the newly affected properties show clinical signs of the disease. Adjacent ranchers have been notified.
"This is not an uncommon occurrence with anthrax because adjacent properties may also contain the anthrax spores in the soil," says State Veterinarian Keith Roehr. "We will expand our efforts onto the adjacent premises to protect the health of these cattle. At this time, all of the neighboring herds have been vaccinated for anthrax and affected herds are being treated."
Anthrax vaccination is important in preventing the disease, he notes, although full protective immunity is not achieved until about a week after a second booster dose is administered.
While the Colorado Department of Agriculture continues to monitor and remediate the situation with the livestock owners, the Northeast Colorado Health Department is performing its own public health investigation, ensuring that anyone at risk for a possible exposure receives treatment.
USDA veterinarians on the ground in the outbreak area, as well as local Logan County Extension Service representatives, declined to comment on the anthrax outbreak, deferring to Roehr as the key communications source.
However, on Aug. 13 Colorado State University provided an anthrax contact listing for the news media covering a variety of resources for information, an action that appears to respond to the high interest in the outbreak by the public and the press.
The health department has been working with the Solid Waste Management Program and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, as well as the CDA, to ensure proper disposal of dead animals.
All of the initially infected carcasses have been incinerated, since fire kills anthrax spores and is considered to be the best means of disposal.