High-velocity paintball game and paintball rifle are among the items to be banned after the anthrax outbreak in the United States, the Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday.
The agency said it is taking the steps to ensure all paintball equipment and equipment used for shooting, such as paintball rifles and paint balls, are tested for anthrax contamination and will be permanently banned.
“The anthrax virus is a new threat that has never before been encountered in the US, but its spread and severity are alarming and we are taking the necessary steps to protect all Americans,” HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell said in a statement.
“This is a critical moment in our nation’s history.
The outbreak is an alarming threat to public health and to our communities.”
The announcement comes just weeks after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said there had been 745 confirmed cases of anthrax in the U.S. as of Friday morning.
The disease has not been confirmed in the continental U.N. and has not spread across the globe.
The CDC and state and local health departments have warned people to keep pets indoors and to be vigilant for signs of infection.
A total of 6,068 cases of coronavirus have been reported, with most in the Midwest and Northeast, the CDC said.
A total of 2,567 people in all have died.
There have been two confirmed cases in Maine.
A New Hampshire man who tested positive for the virus died from the infection in December, while a woman in Tennessee tested positive in February.
The CDC said it has confirmed the presence of two more cases in Minnesota.