Risk Factor Associated with Anthrax Transmission among the Tribal Communities of Odisha
Context: Anthrax is a neglected tropical disease caused by Bacillus anthracis. The condition primarily affects herbivores. Human contacts the natural disease directly or indirectly from animals or their products.
Aims: The purpose of the study was to assess the risk factors associated with the transmission of anthrax.
Settings and Design: A mixed methods study was conducted among the tribal population of Lamtaput block, Koraput from January to May 2018.
Methods and Material: A set of pre-tested and validated structured and unstructured questionnaires were used in order to conduct the study.
Statistical Analysis Used: Statistical package for the social sciences(SPSS) version 15.0.
Results: Overall, the respondents heard about anthrax were found to be 62.91 %. 52.98% of respondents were aware anthrax can affect both humans and animals. The risk factors and risky behaviour were found to be statistically significant with a p-value of < 0.05. Nevertheless, the qualitative findings suggested the level of awareness varied among the respondents, and the cause behind transmission was due to consumption of dead carcasses. The quantitative data showed only 30.464 % of people vaccinated their animals, the qualitative interviews also proposed that fewer respondents vaccinated their animals, 45.69% of respondents threw the carcasses in the open air, 52.98 % respondents ate the meat while sharing it with the community members when an animal died. Food insecurity, poverty, geographical barriers were the reasons cited for consuming dead carcasses.
Conclusions: The cause of transmission of anthrax in Koraput was dead carcasses consumption, high-risk behaviour and practices such as eating, selling, or sharing were found to be common among the respondents. These risk factors are influenced by the low socio-economic status, education level, lack of proper health education messages and poor veterinary services
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