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Tests Confirm Anthrax Deaths, Infections At Village In Central Kazakhstan

QARAGHANDY, Kazakhstan -- A state forensic laboratory in central Kazakhstan has confirmed that two villagers in the Qaraghandy region have died as a result of anthrax infections.

The Qaraghandy region's Deputy Governor Shagurashid Mamalinov on June 22 said tests confirmed that Bacillus anthracis -- the bacteria that causes the infectious disease -- were present in samples of raw beef that were being sold for human consumption in the village of Erkindik.

Mamalinov said both of the villagers who died, along with six other residents of Erkindik who have been hospitalized since June 19 with anthrax infections, had bought the meat from a neighbor.

The village has been quarantined and medical personnel were working there to prevent the disease from spreading.

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.