PNG: Mysterious deaths in humans and pigs
Three women in the remote Southern Highlands province
in Papua New Guinea (PNG) have died after eating contaminated
Another 200 people were treated with antibiotics, after having complained of
The deaths coincide with the deaths of approximately 1,000
pigs from an outbreak of an as yet unidentified disease. The pigs are reported
to develop swollen necks, flu-like signs, fever and the antemortem decay of body
parts resulting in death within days.
Other animal species were reported to have died after
developing similar symptoms and authorities fear the rivers and creeks are
contaminated by dead animals.
Experts from the area are suggesting
that anthrax may be the cause of the pig deaths - it is unclear if the human
mortalities are coincidental or connected with the pig
Only affecting pigs
experts, anthrax is endemic in the pig population in the region. However,
usually this strain of anthrax should affects only pigs and not people or other
In addition, locals regularly eat undercooked pork from
pigs that have died from anthrax without any apparent adverse
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