By | November 5, 2012

We were recently under an anthrax scare in my area of Armenia. All hospitalized cases had been recorded due to exposure to cattle.

In an email warning us of this disease, we were informed, “Anthrax is a disease that is common in rural farming areas worldwide most often found in the cutaneous (skin) form characterized by the formation of skin lesions. It is frequently seen in farmers, butchers, and veterinarians.”

We were further told, “The disease can’t spread from person to person and isn’t contagious!…We strongly encourage you to stay away from raw meat, cattle, undercooked meat purchased from non-reputable sources.”

Cows Grazing in Armenian Field

An infected cow was the source of anthrax. The involved meat of the infected animals is said to have been destroyed.

Since I wasn’t home at the time of the outbreak, and rarely buy meat (too expensive!), I wasn’t overly concerned about the whole thing; I just thought it was really weird, as the only anthrax I was at all familiar with was the white powder that was going through the mail many years back.

However, as you might imagine, this has really affected my community.

Meat Shop Sign

This is the sign for our local butcher, located directly below my apartment. It has been closed since anthrax was discovered in a nearby village.

The butcher shops are closed until the middle of the month at the earliest, and many people have told me that they probably won’t be buying meat for several months, just to be sure. They have road blocks set up, to monitor what people are bringing in and out of my community. The transfer of raw meat is forbidden, as far as I can tell.

Anyway, just wanted to let you all know that I’m fine, I’ve been avoiding cattle, and I’m fully settled into my vegetarian lifestyle.

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