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Russia Says One Dead After Anthrax Outbreak in Siberia

An anthrax outbreak in a Siberian village left one person dead and 10 others hospitalized as the Russian government declared a state of emergency in the area in a bid to prevent an epidemic.

There were at least two other confirmed cases of anthrax infection in the village of Druzhba in the Altai region, state-run Rossiya 24 television reported, citing unidentified officials. The death was reported in a statement today by the Moscow-based Emergency Situations Ministry, which didn’t say whether it was caused by anthrax.

Roads around the village have been closed off, Yevgenia Belikova, a spokeswoman for investigators in Altai, said in comments broadcast on Rossiya 24. Veterinary officials killed several heads of cattle infected with anthrax and vaccinated another 187, as well as 21 horses and pigs, the Altai region’s press office said on its website.

The anthrax outbreak is “under control and localized,” Deputy Governor Daniil Bessarabov said in the statement.

The anthrax bacteria, known as Bacillus anthracis, occurs most commonly in cattle, sheep and goats and can be lethal to humans. The bacteria, which can cause skin infections and more severe lung infections, may survive in soil decades after an outbreak.

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