Hungary probes suspected anthrax infection

Anthrax traces in frozen beef may have infected five people currently under observation in hospital in eastern Hungary, health officials said Friday.

"Five people are being observed in for a suspected infection of the (anthrax) disease," a statement from Hungary's health authority ANTSZ read.

According to the health authority, traces of the potentially lethal bacteria appear to have been found near Tiszafured, 160 kilometres (100 miles) east of Budapest, in frozen beef from cattle which may have been illegally slaughtered.

Some of the infected meat had been delivered to a canteen company, which has now suspended operations, the authority said.

Vaccination of animals exposed to the bacteria had already begun, it added.

"The necessary measures have been taken, there is no longer an immediate danger," the statement said.

It also warned that anyone who thinks they may have eaten the infected beef to contact a doctor immediately.

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