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Media Release: Minor Anthrax Outbreak In KNP

Date: 2006-06-09

Kruger National Park (KNP) and The Department of Agriculture Veterinary Services’ veterinary surgeons and researchers are closely monitoring a localised outbreak of anthrax in the extreme northern area of the park since last week.

Anthrax is a deadly bacterial disease which can affect all animal species. Currently a total of 15 carcasses, which include kudu, nyala, buffalo and giraffe, have been found in the area over the last few weeks and all contained traces of anthrax.

“We would like to assure the public that this is a minor outbreak of this disease and, at this stage, there is no major cause for concern as similar outbreaks have occurred in the past without spreading further,” said the KNP’s executive director, Dr Bandile Mkhize.

The Far North of the KNP is historically an endemic anthrax area and a few sporadic cases are seen annually. There are periodic cycles of increased activity of this disease and several large outbreaks have been recorded in the area in 1959/1960, 1970/71 and 1990/91.

“Although this disease naturally occurs in that part of the KNP, we will continue to intensively monitor the situation and take the necessary steps should the situation worsen,” commented Dr Mkhize.

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