International Events

Updates on Anthrax Cases in Russia September 17th, 2023

The Outbreak:
On September 7th, 2023, Russian media reported that two new cases of anthrax were discovered in the Bogucharsky District, Voronezh Region, located in the central-eastern region of Russia near the Ukrainian border. After conducting necessary investigations, it was found that a local farmer with small, unregistered commercial farms had slaughtered a calf and sold it locally without being vaccinated against anthrax, there is not enough information about the status of the cases and the symptoms appearing thereon.
Referring to the surveillance data until September 8th, 2023, it was laboratory confirmed that there were 6 confirmed cases and 2 suspected cases.

Chronological Sequence of Events:

  • August 18th, 2023: A Paninsky District resident was hospitalized with suspected anthrax.
  • August 20th, 2023: Officials began establishing emergency protocols including quarantine measures for Baninsky and Novosmansky districts in the Voronezh region until November 16th, 2023, after investigations found calf remains on residents’ property that tested positive for anthrax bacteria.
  • August 22nd, 2023: Officials imposed a quarantine until October 23rd, 2023 in the city of Voronezh after anthrax-infected meat from Paninsky District property was found at a food market within the city. This procedure was canceled on September 1st, 2023 after disinfecting the market and burning all meat products stored in the market.
  • August 30th, 2023: Local media and news reported that an infected resident in Paninsky District was confirmed to have anthrax infection and was undergoing medical treatment.
  • September 7th, 2023: Seven individuals, mostly from the village of Lebedinka, Bogucharsky District, were hospitalized on suspicion of anthrax. Five were later confirmed positive for anthrax. Officials imposed quarantine on Bogucharsky and Kantemirovsky regions until December 20, 2023.

About the disease:
Anthrax is an infection caused by spore-forming bacteria called Bacillus anthracis. It is a zoonotic disease (a disease transmitted from animals to humans) that usually affects ruminants (such as cattle, sheep, and goats). The bacteria produce very potent toxins that are responsible for the symptoms, leading to a high mortality rate. Humans can contract the disease from infected animals or through contaminated animal products.

Anthrax mode of transmission:
Anthrax is rarely transmitted from one person to another. But anthrax bacteria can enter the body and reproduce in four ways:

  1. Through skin contact with anthrax spores, such as touching or handling the meat, skin or wool of infected animals, which enter a wound or scratch on the skin.
  2. By failing to follow the protocol for disposal of infected dead animals.
  3. By inhaling anthrax spores from infected animals.
  4. By eating contaminated and undercooked meat from infected animals.
  5. By Injection of tainted heroin.

Anthrax incubation period:  
From one to seven days.


  1. Rash and skin ulcers.
  2. Nausea and diarrhea.
  3. Heat.
  4. Sore throat.
  5. Difficulty breathing.
  6. Muscle pain.

Prevention and treatment of anthrax:
Anthrax vaccines for livestock and humans are available. Veterinary vaccines are used to control anthrax in livestock. Human vaccines supply is limited and are used primarily to protect selected individuals with possible occupational exposure to anthrax.
People infected with anthrax need antibiotics, usually for 60 days, and treatment is most successful if started early.


  1. The Moscow Times Russian newspaper
  2. Blue Dot platform

Last Update : 27 September 2023 01:35 PM
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