ALMATY, Kazakhstan, July 20 (UPI) -- The number of anthrax cases tripled in Kazakhstan in the first half of 2004, local media reported Tuesday.
Anatoliy Belonog, the chief public health officer of Kazakhstan, was quoted by Khabar television as saying 11 infected people have been registered in the western Aktyubinsk and East Kazakhstan regions.
Animals suffering from anthrax were buried in more than 3,500 burial grounds scattered all over Kazakhstan in previous years, the Kazakhstan today news agency quoted Belonog.
Belonog, also the deputy health minister, said veterinarians, above all, were to blame for the anthrax infections, Khabar reported. They are often negligent in checking the quality of animals, he added.
Meanwhile, the situation with brucellosis and vernal encephalitis has worsened in the country. The dysentery situation particularly deteriorated -- more than 500 people have suffered from it over the last six months, the result of violating sanitary norms at water-supply and food-industry facilities and cafes, Khabar reported.
Health officers found epizootic plague -- or plague spreading quickly among rodents -- in an area of about 15,000 square miles, said Belonog, as quoted by Kazakhstan Today.