Wildlife and environment
Rescuers and military personnel awarded medals for fighting anthrax outbreak in Yamal
© RIA Novosti. Vitaly Timkiv

Rescuers and military personnel awarded medals for fighting anthrax outbreak in Yamal

Rescuers and military personnel involved in fighting an anthrax outbreak in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area were awarded medals For Preserving the Arctic and For Valor and Selflessness, TASS reports.

"Workers of the Russian Defense Ministry and the Russian Emergencies Ministry were presented with letters of commendation and gratitude as well as medals For Preserving the Arctic and For Valor and Selflessness, both of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area. Almost 500 people and 60 units of equipment were involved in the outbreak control," the area's press service commented.

The day before, the Defense Ministry's radiation, chemical and biological defense forces completed an operation to contain the anthrax outbreak. In less than three weeks, the military had discovered and burned the remains of 2,572 animals killed by the hazardous infection. The team also decontaminated the 225-square-kilometer affected area using chloride of lime.

"The disinfection and burning were completed promptly. Soon we are expecting soil sample results. The outbreak area has been fenced off with 40,000 signs and notices installed to prevent people from entering," the press service added.

As previously reported by TASS, the Yamal District of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area has been under quarantine since July 25. Twenty-four tundra residents were diagnosed with anthrax after eating unprocessed reindeer meat. A 12-year-old boy died of a gastrointestinal infection on August 1. Ninety-seven people from the outbreak area were hospitalized. Currently, 22 nomads are still in hospital; the others have been released.