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The Northwest Territories government says there is a suspected anthrax outbreak among the Slave River Lowlands bison population.

The Department of Environment and Climate Change says 15 bison carcasses were found in the area between Fort Smith and Fort Resolution over the weekend, and test results on the carcasses are pending.

The department says an incident management team is working to rapidly detect and dispose of the infected bison and keep people away from the area.

The team will also incinerate or chemically treat the bison and surrounding grass to prevent the spread of anthrax spores.

Anthrax rarely spreads to humans and is almost never transmitted from person to person.

About 95 per cent of all human cases of anthrax result from skin contact with infected animals and, while it can be treated with antibiotics, can be fatal if left untreated.

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