Jakarta (ANTARA) - Three residents of Gunung Kidul District, Yogyakarta, have died of anthrax infection transmitted by farm animals, the Ministry of Health said on Tuesday.

"For death cases, there are three people in Semanu Sub-district, Gunung Kidul District, Yogyakarta," head of the ministry's communication and public services bureau, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, confirmed here.

The ministry is still carrying out an epidemiological investigation in two sub-districts, Semanu and Karangmojo, to examine several aspects ranging from the spread to the cause of transmission.

Based on the results of serological tests, so far, 93 patients have tested positive for anthrax in those areas. The results of a genome sequencing test showed that the dead patients were positive for anthrax.

According to Tarmizi, the cases in Gunung Kidul were the first to be detected in 2023, while there were zero reported cases of anthrax in 2022.

She further said that some of the patients are still undergoing treatment while others have recovered.

It has been suspected that the cases were caused by the consumption of beef during the Eid al-Adha celebrations since Gunung Kidul is an anthrax-endemic area.

She said that cattle can get infected if they eat grass that contains a bacterium that causes anthrax infection. There is also a possibility that the bacterium that had been sitting underground was lifted due to cultivation activities, she added.

To this end, the community has been encouraged to be selective regarding the quality of beef, especially beef sourced from farms located in anthrax-endemic areas.

Tarmizi appealed to the community in Gunung Kidul to carry out farming activities by wearing personal protective equipment, such as boots, gloves, and clothing, that covers all parts of the body.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Raka Adji
Editor: Sri Haryati
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