Two die from suspected anthrax after feasting on sick cow
Two people have died and several others are receiving treatment for suspected anthrax at Tharimu village in Maara, Tharaka-Nithi County, after feasting on a sick cow during the festive season.
They reportedly fell ill after slaughtering and eating the animal on December 20, 2022. They are said to have eaten the meat after a local man who claimed to be a veterinary officer gave them the greenlight to do so.
Confirming the incident, Nkangani assistant chief, Ms Mercy Mwenda, said Nyaga Njau,64, and Dickson Nyaga,60, died after eating the meat.
Mr George Mutegi, the owner of the cow, said he intended to bury the carcass but that the ‘veterinary officer’ assured him the meat was safe for consumption.
He said being the festive season, the meat was eaten by many people in the village. Some soon developed swelling and wounds on their bodies.
“The cow was about to die when my son, Nyaga and two other people slaughtered it. They called on the man to test the meat and he declared it safe for human consumption,” said Mr Mutegi.
A local resident, Ms Dorothy Ntue, said some people who consumed the meat are still healthy, but that they are anxious about developing complications.
The bodies of the deceased are at Chuka County Referral Hospital mortuary amid plans for their burial.
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