CDC: Woman Gets GI Anthrax While Drumming

ATLANTA, July 22 (UPI) — Physicians and public health officials investigating anthrax are advised to consider any exposure to animal-hide drums, U.S. government officials advise.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report released Thursday says cases of cutaneous — via cuts — and inhalation anthrax have been reported in people exposed to imported animal-hide drums contaminated with anthrax.

For the first time, a gastrointestinal U.S. anthrax case has been related to animal-hide drum exposure in a woman became ill after she participated in a drumming circle in which drums were found to contain anthrax spores.

“Therefore, when investigating any anthrax case, public health agencies should consider any exposure to animal-hide drums as potential exposure sources,” the report says. “However, it is important to keep in mind that drumming circles are common activities, and given the extreme rarity of cases like the one reported here, the risk for infection is considered very low.”

In investigating anthrax, public health agencies should be aware that any exposure to animal-hide drums — including making drums, playing drums or participating in drumming events — carries a potential, although remote, risk for anthrax exposure, health officials advise.

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