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In Russia a child died in anthrax outbreak

In Russia a child died in anthrax outbreakA 12-year-old boy evacuated from an anthrax epidemic zone in Russia has died on Monday. The child died in hospital in the city of Salekhard, the capital of the Yamalo-Nenetsk Autonomous Area, where quarantine over the anthrax outbreak was declared last week.

Ninety people are undergoing hospital checks in remote northern Russia, while eight other people have already been diagnosed with the disease.

A rare but deadly bacterial disease is believed to have spread from reindeer. More than 2,300 reindeer have died in the outbreak. Reindeer-herding families have been moved out.

A heat has soared to 35C – unusual temperature for the – and fuelled the disease. The last outbreak in the region was in 1941.

Biological warfare troops and civilian emergencies specialists were deployed to the epidemic area to dispose of dead animals and eradicate pests such as rats, which can spread anthrax.

The local governor's spokeswoman, Natalya Khlopunova, told Tass news agency that about 50 children were among the 90 people in hospital.

"We decided to do checks on all the reindeer herders' children, even if they show no signs of illness," she said.

A mass vaccination of the population was conducted over the last week. Livestock vaccination is currently underway with a total of 41,000 animals expected to be given anthrax vaccine doses.
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