Thawing Permafrost Enables Anthrax Outbreak In Remote Siberian Region

NPR: Anthrax Outbreak In Russia Thought To Be Result Of Thawing Permafrost
“Russia is fighting a mysterious anthrax outbreak in a remote corner of Siberia. Dozens of people are hospitalized; one child has died. The government airlifted some families out because more than 2,000 reindeer have been infected…” (Doucleff, 8/3).

Scientific American: “Zombie” Anthrax Goes on a Killing Spree in Siberia — How?
“…The anthrax currently infecting reindeer and people in western Siberia likely came from the carcass of a reindeer that died in an anthrax outbreak 75 years ago and has been frozen ever since — until an unusually warm summer thawed permafrost across the region this year, according to local officials…” (Pappas, 8/3).

Washington Post: Anthrax spreads from reindeer to humans in an outbreak at the ‘end of the world’
“…For most of the year, [the region] is frigid. Since July, however, something unusual has been afoot in Yamal: Temperatures have soared, reaching 95 degrees. In the ensuing thaw, the once-frozen carcasses of reindeer have attracted bacteria, including one that causes anthrax. So, for the first time since 1941, there is an anthrax outbreak…” (Bearak, 8/2).

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Headquarters: 185 Berry St., Suite 2000, San Francisco, CA 94107 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270

www.kff.org | Email Alerts: kff.org/email | facebook.com/KaiserFamilyFoundation | twitter.com/kff

Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.