TARAZ, Kazakhstan -- Four residents of a village in Kazakhstan’s southern region of Zhambyl have been diagnosed with anthrax.
The region's health authorities said on September 17 that 44 individuals who have been in close contact with the four have been placed under medical supervision as well.
According to the authorities, the four patients are believed to have been infected with anthrax by consuming meat from a cow slaughtered several days ago.
Less than a month earlier, a village near the Kazakh capital, Nur-Sultan, was put under quarantine after lab tests confirmed anthrax infections in several people there.
Kazakhstan's Health Ministry said on August 19 that five residents of the village of Olginka, 100 kilometers east of Nur-Sultan, had been hospitalized with anthrax symptoms, four of whom tested positive for Bacillus anthracis -- the bacteria that causes the infectious disease.
In 2016 in nearby Qaraghandy region, two people died as a result of anthrax infections.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), domestic and wild animals -- such as cattle, sheep, goats, antelope, and deer -- can become infected by inhaling or ingesting spores in contaminated soil, plants, or water.
The CDC says all types of anthrax infections can cause death if they are not treated with antibiotics.