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20 Anthrax Cases Confirmed in Russia

Twenty residents of Russia's northern Yamal-Nenets autonomous district have tested positive for anthrax, the TASS news agency reported Tuesday.

A 12-year-old boy became the first to die from the disease on Monday. It is believed that he contracted the illness by eating infected reindeer meat. 

The current anthrax outbreak is the first time that the disease has been seen in the region since 1941. Ninety people are currently under observation in local hospitals in stable conditions. Eight of the confirmed anthrax cases are now ready to be discharged, TASS reported.

Parts of the district were placed under quarantine by the authorities on July 25 after an outbreak of anthrax killed more than 1,000 of reindeer. Some 2,349 of the animals are believed to have died as of Monday. The sudden outbreak was likely caused by an infected reindeer carcass melting due to unusually high temperatures in the region.

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