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Human Anthrax Transmission at the Urban–Rural Interface, Georgia

KRACALIK, BLACKBURN – Human Anthrax Transmission at the Urban–Rural Interface, Georgia

Ian Kracalik, Lile Malania, Paata Imnadze and Jason K. Blackburn

Article first published online: 5 OCT 2015 The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

DOI: 10.4269/ajtmh.15-0242

ABSTRACT: Human anthrax has increased dramatically in Georgia and was recently linked to the sale of meat in an urban market. We assessed epidemiological trends and risk factors for human anthrax at the urban–rural interface. We reviewed epidemiologic records (2000–2012) that included the place of residence (classified as urban, peri-urban, or rural), age, gender, and self-reported source of infection (handling or processing animal by-products and slaughtering or butchering livestock). To estimate risk, we used a negative binomial regression. The average incidence per 1 million population in peri-urban areas (24.5 cases) was > 2-fold higher compared with rural areas and > 3-fold higher compared with urban area. Risk from handling or purchasing meat was nearly 2-fold higher in urban areas and > 4-fold higher in peri-urban areas compared with rural area. Our findings suggest a high risk of anthrax in urban and peri-urban areas likely as a result of spillover from contaminated meat and animal by-products. Consumers should be warned to purchase meat only from licensed merchants.

Read the full publication at The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene