Anthrax outbreak in Siberia

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By Euronews
Anthrax outbreak in Siberia

An outbreak of anthrax in Siberia has been blamed on a heatwave melting infected reindeer carcasses that were frozen in the tundra inside the Arctic Circle.

A 12 year old nomadic Nenets boy has died in hospital in the town of Salekhard and another eight people have been diagnosed with the deadly bacterial disease.

Around 2,300 reindeer have also died.

The outbreak is evidence of more climate change in an area of permafrost – so called because it’s normally permanently frozen. In some provinces of Siberia temperatures have risen 10 degree Fahrenheit beyond normal.

It’s been 70 years since the last outbreak and Russian troops trained in biological warfare have been drafted in to manage the emergency.

It’s a logistical challenge as the nomadic people are spread over large distances.

Nomadic people living in the infected area on the Yamal Peninsula who herd livestock including reindeer have been evacuated.

Around 90 of them are now being checked for anthrax in hospital where antibiotics are available to treat the disease, however treatment must start quickly for it to work.

An unrelated anthrax outbreak has also been reported in central Sweden