Two neighbourhoods in İstanbul province were quarantined against the risk of anthrax on September 2, following the detection of anthrax in 4 thousand cattle imported from Brasil and Ireland for the Islamic feast of sacrifice in August. Late at night on September 1, several people applied for medical clinics due to anthrax suspicion.
3 thousand 5 hundred cattle found in these two neighbourhoods are to be vaccinated on September 3, local media reported. Last week, anthrax-infected cattle were first detected in the capital city of Ankara, causing widespread panic in the public opinion. Around 10 thousand cattle were vaccinated in Ankara.
As the alarm of anthrax has spread to Turkey's another metropol İzmir, Provincial Health Minister of İzmir Bedia Salnur made a public statement noting that there is no anthrax case in the city so far. In her statement, Salnur said "The disease of orf is sometimes seen after the feast of sacrifice. Our people mistakenly confuse it with anthrax with fear. Orf disease is curable." Salnur added "Our experts at the hospitals and emergency clinics are well-educated and knowledgeable. There is no case of anthrax seen so far. The Provincial Directorate of Farm has not quarantined any animals yet."
The Ministry of Health has also made a statement following anthrax cases are seen in İstanbul. The Ministry said "48 people detected to had contact with anthrax-infected cattle in Silivri district were invited to our hospitals for medical examination. Necessary examinations of these people were made and skin lesions were detected only in six people. Other citizens showed neither a symptom nor a sign. 6 people with skin lesion were discharged after their treatments were completed."
İstanbul provincial governor Vasip Şahin also made a statement noting "the citizens shall be more conscious about the disease" and that "anthrax is an easily curable disease with vaccination." Şahin added that vaccination works will last for 5 years in the two districts of İstanbul where the disease was detected.
While 146 out of 4 thousand cattle imported from Brazil and Ireland were killed by experts due to anthrax infection in the last week of August, the rest of the animals were quarantined for 21 days at the farm and vaccinated. The results of anthrax tests of these quarantined animals will be finalised on September 15.
Medical experts criticized the AKP government's lack of preventive measures following the panicking spread of anthrax in Turkey. Sinan Adıyaman, the Chair of the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) noted that the case of anthrax appeared as a result of lack of veterinary inspection due to the policies of the government. Adıyaman added “Previously, there were rules for everything. The veterinary inspection was required for animal importation. The AKP cancelled it." Anthrax is a disease of herbivorous animals that can infect humans via respiration or skin contact. Medical experts warn that the disease may result in death within a week in some cases.