Thawing Siberian permafrost releases anthrax virus in Russia killing thousands of people and wildlife

// August 2nd, 2016 // News

At first it seemed like something out of a sci-fi movie but the latest news this week confirm the event is true. It began last week when reports of over 1,000 reindeer dying in the Yamal region, the fifth largest region in Russia (comparable in size to Turkey and larger than Texas). This week, Interfax reported another 1,000+ reindeer had died bringing the total to about 1% of the area’s reindeer population. It was initially believed the reindeer died from the extraordinary heatwave that struck the area in July. However, new biological tests revealed anthrax is responsible for the deaths – and it has spread to humans.

Details are still sketchy but reports indicate over 100 people have been hospitalized with at least two dead, possibly as many as 50. Scientists are near certain the anthrax virus was released during this year’s heatwave in the tundra region. Last week, a 12-year-old boy and his grandmother were reported dead after eating reindeer meat (a common source of food in the region).

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