…avoid anthrax by inspecting animals properly
…buy livestock from Benin, Chad, and Niger, Ghana and Togo with caution
The National Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, has issued a warning against the slaughtering of sick animals during the Eid-al-Adha, which is observed today, June 28.
This advisory comes after human and animal cases of anthrax disease were confirmed in neighbouring Ghana on June 1.
While Nigeria has not yet reported cases of anthrax, the NCDC emphasised the high risk to public health posed by the outbreak in Ghana due to the disease’s lethal and highly contagious nature.
“Nigeria’s close relationship with Ghana through border movement of humans and animals, and strong trade relations comes with a high risk of importation of the disease.” Therefore, government has enumerated preventative measures for Nigerians and livestock owners to reduce the possibility of infection.
Prior to slaughtering an animal during the holiday season, it should be meticulously inspected for signs of illness.
Caution should be exercised when acquiring livestock from states bordering Benin, Chad, and Niger, as well as via waterways from Ghana and Togo.
Nigerians are advised to avoid all non-essential travel to the northern region of Ghana, especially the Upper East Region, where the outbreak has been reported.
Animal owners are strongly encouraged to vaccinate their animals against anthrax, as this is the most effective preventative measure.
It is recommended that personal protective equipment, such as gloves, facemasks, goggles, and boots, be worn when handling ill animals, and sick animals should never be slaughtered.
Animals that bleed from body openings must be reported promptly to veterinary authorities or agricultural extension agents.
Anthrax: Signs and symptoms
Anthrax is a severe bacterial infection that affects both humans and animals, including domesticated animals such as cows, piglets, camels, sheep, and goats.
Spore-forming bacteria can be found in the soil, wool, and fur of infected animals. Consumption of contaminated livestock or direct contact with infected animals or their products can infect humans. Inhaling particles is the most hazardous method of transmission.
High fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, bleeding from body openings, swelling, difficulty breathing, and bloody diarrhea are among the symptoms observed in animals.
Depending on the route of infection, anthrax can cause fever, painless skin sores with a black centre that develop after blisters, general body weakness, difficulty breathing, and a severe digestive illness similar to food poisoning in humans.
The Centre urged individuals, livestock owners, and veterinary authorities to maintain vigilance and take precautions to ensure a safe and healthy holiday season.Follow us on social media