Dr Abdulkareem Babamale of the Department of Zoology, University of Ilorin, has advised consumers to ensure the state of health of their rams before consumption, saying tick infestation has been identified.
Babamale, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Sunday in Ilorin, said proper check was important to prevent buying tick-infested rams.
The lecturer, an expert in Parasitology, noted that the social media are beginning to create fears following graphic pictures of heavily tick-infested rams being circulating with erroneous belief that they are virus.
“Therefore, I want to say that the infestation on the ram is tickiosis caused by both hard and soft ticks, calling it virus is dangerous at this present time,” he said.
He explained that the tick on rams has the tendency to transmit some other endoparasitic diseases such as babaesios and anaplasmosis among others to humans.
Babamale advised people not to panic, but to apply tickicide and do hand picking, open up the infested site to high temperature such sunlight or fire.
He explained that as part of its life cycle, the sheep tick needs a blood meal from a host animal.
“Adult females are most likely to be found attached to the head, legs or other areas of skin not covered by wool.
“Their feeding can also cause abscesses in the joints, spine and internal organs of lambs, leading to a condition known as tick pyaemia,” he said.
The expert said tick-borne fever in rams, an illness characterised by a sudden high fever for between four and 22 days can be a problem.
“Tick-borne fever of ruminants is caused by Ana plasma Phagocytophilum that invade neutrophils and monocytes.
“There can be fever and leucopenia with other signs absent or mild, but infection predisposes animals to other diseases,” he warned. (NAN)