At least nine people in northern China are believed to have contracted anthrax, a disease found in domestic and wild animals, according to state media. Citing health authorities in the province of Shanxi, state broadcaster CCTV reported on Sunday that nine residents of Baoxian village in Wenshui county were hospitalised last week with anthrax symptoms. Four of the patients were taken to the provincial capital of Taiyuan for treatment and two have since been discharged. The five other patients were being treated in the village hospital, according to CCTV’s report. At least 11 people infected with anthrax in northwestern China All of the patients were involved in the cattle industry, from breeding, to slaughter and beef sales, the report said. Blisters on their limbs had ulcerated and their lymph nodes were infected and swollen. Another patient – also from Wenshui county – was reported with similar symptoms in the northern province of Liaoning in June. Shanxi authorities said they had stepped up livestock inspections and environmental testing to prevent the disease from spreading. On Monday, Beijing health authorities said an anthrax pneumonia patient from Chengde in neighbouring Hebei province was being treated in isolation. The patient was moved to Beijing four days after showing symptoms and had close contact with cattle, sheep and animal products, according to the Beijing Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. Russian anthrax outbreak shows how global warming threatens to release buried viruses According to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, anthrax is a bacteria found naturally in soil and commonly affects domestic and wild animals when they breathe in or ingest spores in contaminated soil, plants, or water. Anthrax can cause severe illness in both humans and animals. It is not contagious but it can sicken people if they come in contact with infected animals or ingest contaminated animal products.