More cases of anthrax have been confirmed in South Dakota livestock this year.

State Veterinarian Dustin Oedekoven has confirmed the disease was diagnosed in a group of 300 unvaccinated yearling cattle in Butte County, in western South Dakota.

Butte is the fourth county where anthrax has been diagnosed in 2018, following Clark, Bon Homme and Hamlin counties. The first case was in Clark where eight cows died out of a herd of 87 unvaccinated cattle.

Anthrax spores can survive indefinitely in contaminated soil, and the potential for outbreaks exists across South Dakota. Drought, floods and winds can expose anthrax spores to livestock.

Anthrax can cause the rapid loss of a large number of animals in a short time. Infected livestock often are found dead with no illness detected. Producers across South Dakota should consult their veterinaries and vaccinate livestock, if appropriate.

There are no reports of person-to-person transmission of anthrax. People get anthrax by handling contaminated animal or animal products, consuming under cooked meat of infected animals and more recently, intentional release of spores.

Source: Associated Press

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