Anthrax Outbreak Hungary




Hungarian Health Authorities and Daily News Hungary are reporting,

Key Points

  • 4 human anthrax cases
  • The anthrax type is cutaneous anthrax
  • 30 people have been treated prophylactically with antibiotics due to exposure
  • Exposure has occurred on  cattle farms in the areas of Bács-Kiskun, Kötegyán and Békés counties
  • One cow is confirmed positive for anthrax
  • Those exposed are believed to come in contact with the meat of a sick cow infected with anthrax (Daily News Hungary)


Analysis & Recommendations

  • People travelling to Hungary should avoid cattle farms in the direct vicinity of Bács-Kiskun, Kötegyán and Békés counties, and should not consume beef produced in this area.  People frequenting this area should know the signs and symptoms of cutaneous anthrax and should seek medical attention if exposed to anthrax
  • Cutaneous anthrax symptoms can include: Blisters, Sores, Painless Ulcers of the neck, face, arms, hands


What is Anthrax?

  • A serious infectious disease
  • The most serious complication of anthrax is inflammation of the membranes and fluid covering the brain and spinal cord, leading to massive bleeding (hemorrhagic meningitis) and death (Mayo Clinic, 2019)
  • Caused by gram-positive, rod shaped bacteria known as bacillus anthracis
  • Found in soil
  • Affects animals-domestic & wild
  • Global threat
  • Transmission through infected animals or contaminated animal products
  • Causes severe illness in humans & animals



  • Not contagious between humans
  • Breathing in spores
  • Consume food or water that is contaminated with spores
  • Spores enter cut or scrape in the skin


Anthrax is more common in developing countries lacking veterinary health programs and is found in agricultural regions of:

  • Central and South America
  • Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Central and Southwestern Asia
  • Southern and Eastern Europe
  • The Caribbean
  • Sporadic outbreaks in USA wild domestic grazing animals



  • Antibiotics are recommended to prevent infection in anyone exposed to the spores. Ciprofloxacin (Cipro), doxycycline (Monodox, Vibramycin, others) and levofloxacin (Levaquin) are approved by the Food and Drug Administration for post-exposure prevention of anthrax in adults and children  (Mayo Clinic, 2019)


Anthrax Vaccine

  • An anthrax vaccine for humans is available. The vaccine doesn’t contain live bacteria and can’t lead to infection, but it can cause side effects, ranging from soreness at the injection site to more-serious allergic reactions
  • The vaccine isn’t intended for the general public. Instead, it’s reserved for military personnel, scientists working with anthrax and people in other high-risk professions   (Mayo Clinic, 2019)



Daily News Hungary

U.S. Center for Disease Control

Mayo Clinic