Romania finds deadly anthrax in pig at smallholding

BUCHAREST/PARIS (Reuters) - A pig at a smallholding in Romania has contracted anthrax, which kills thousands of livestock in tropical and sub-tropical areas each year but is rare in temperate regions.

Romania’s veterinary health authority ANSVSA said on Tuesday the outbreak was in a small farm in the town of Saveni near the border with Moldova, where it had detected the Bacillus anthracis infection in one pig and another 13 were at risk.

ANSVSA notified the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) of the outbreak of anthrax, which can kill within hours and is most common among herbivorous domestic and wild animals, but it is also fatal to humans who inhale its spores.

Symptoms include a high fever, an enlarged spleen and swellings of the throat in some animals. Once the symptoms appear it is too late to treat with antibiotics.

European Union member Romania reported dozens of outbreaks of African swine fever in backyard pigs since spring and in July it said about 50,000 at a breeding farm in the county of Tulcea had to be culled.

Reporting by Radu Marinas in Bucharest and Gus Trompiz in Paris; Editing by Alexander Smith