Cow Died from Anthrax.
In the last few days, 50 cattle died at a ranch in Logan county, Colorado and at least one was confirmed to be infected with anthrax. This is the first case in Colorado in 31 years. According to a San Francisco Chronicle article, seven people had direct contact with the animals that died and will be treated with antibiotics. Anthrax, however, cannot be spread person-to-person so there is no concern of an outbreak among the general population.
Anthrax is a life-threatening infectious pathogen that normally affects animals, especially ruminants (such as goats, cattle, sheep, and horses). The agent of the disease is a bacterium called Baccilus Anthracis. Anthrax spores are typically found in dormant form in soil. The spores have been known to live in the soil for up to 48 years, because they have a resistance to cold, heat, and dry weather. Anthrax spores can develop naturally as result of drought, which could explain why we are seeing this in Colorado.
The ranch has been quarantined and the remaining cattle have been vaccinated. None of the cows left the ranch so the safety of the food supply is not in question. State Health Authorities worked quickly to stop the spread of the disease by monitoring animals, people and equipment at the ranch.