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Anthrax suspected behind 5 Hungary hospitalizations

BUDAPEST, Hungary--Five people have been hospitalized in eastern Hungary, suspected of eating meat infected with anthrax, health officials said Friday.

Traces of the deadly bacteria were found in improperly frozen meat from two cows slaughtered illegally in the eastern town of Tiszafured, the National Public Health and Medical Officer Service said.

Some of the meat was transported to a company which operates hotels, restaurants and other facilities. The company's kitchen has been closed, the agency said.

Authorities asked people who may have eaten the infected beef to see a doctor because early treatment is the most effective.

Officials said those who may have come into contact with the infected meat are being given antibiotics as a precaution. They said there was no immediate risk of the disease spreading and were vaccinating animals in the area which could possibly be exposed to the bacteria.

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