Glanders on the rise in animals
Although no human case has been reported in India, it is better to adhere to precautionary measures
Glanders is a highly infectious and often fatal zoonotic disease primarily affecting horses, donkeys and mules. It is a notifiable disease of equines caused by Gram-negative bacterium, Burkholderia mallei. Humans are accidental hosts and human to human transmission is rare.
Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Immediate PastNational President Indian Medical Association (IMA), said, "Glanders has traditionally been clinically categorized into nasal, pulmonary and cutaneous forms based on the most commonly affected organ systems in equines. B. mallei is transmitted to humans through contact with tissues or body fluids of infected animals. The bacteria enter the body through cuts or abrasions in the skin and through mucosal surfaces such as the conjunctiva and nose. The infection may occur by inhaling infected aerosol dust. Animal-to-human and human-to-human transmission of glanders is rare. Despite many reported cases of the disease in equines, no human case of glanders has been reported in India till date."
The clinical symptoms of glanders in humans are non- specific therefore accurate diagnosis and treatment is difficult. The symptoms in humans include low- grade fever and chills, malaise, fatigue, myalgias, backache, headache, rigors, chest pain and lymphadenopathy.
Due to its high death rate and the small number of organisms needed to cause infection, B. mallei is considered a potential biological warfare or bioterrorism agent. It can also be transmitted by aerosol and is known to be resistant to multiple antibiotics. "Do not ignore nodules and discharging ulcers in nose, lungs and skin in these animals," tweeted Dr Aggarwal.
Some tips to prevent infection from B. mallei include the following.
· Avoid contact with soil and standing water, especially if you have diabetes or open skin lesions.
· Wear boots while doing any kind of agricultural work.
· Do not handle sick or dead animal bodies, especially in areas with prevalence of this disease. If you must handle sick or dead animal bodies, use gloves, eye protection, and a mask.
· It is always a good idea to wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
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About Heart Care Foundation of India
Initiated in 1986, the Heart Care Foundation of India is a leading National NGO working in the field of creating mass health awareness among people from all walks of life and providing solutions for India's everyday healthcare needs. The NGO uses consumer-based entertainment modules to impart health education and increase awareness amongst people. A leading example of this is the Perfect Health Mela; an annual event started in 1993 that is attended by over 2-3 lakh people each year. The Mela showcases activities across categories such as health education seminars and check-ups, entertainment programs, lifestyle exhibitions, lectures, workshops, and competitions. In addition to this, the NGO conducts programs and camps to train people on the technique of hands only CPR through its CPR 10 mantra for revival after a sudden cardiac arrest. They currently hold three Limca book of world records for the maximum number of people trained in hands-only CPR in one go. Keeping article 21 of the Indian Constitution in mind, which guarantees a person Right to Life, Heart Care Foundation of India has also recently initiated a project called the Sameer Malik Heart Care Foundation Fund to ensure that no one dies of a heart disease just because they cannot afford treatment.
For more information, please contact
Heart Care Foundation of India
Md Adib Ahmed- 9873716235
Dr K K Aggarwal