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July 18, 2023

Anthrax may be spreading across Nigeria, NCDC warns

Anthrax spreading across Nigeria

The Nigerian Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC) has said that anthrax disease may have spread to every part of the country.

The NCDC said this hours after the Federal Government through the Ministry of Agriculture confirmed the first case of the disease in Niger state.

Vanguard reported, yesterday, the first case of the disease outbreak was confirmed on a multi-specie animal farm comprising cattle, sheep, and goats in Suleja.

Speaking on the development, the NCDC’s Executive Director, Ifedayo Adetifa, in an interview on Channels Television, said anthrax found its way to the country from neighbouring nations.

“The case was in a multi-specie animal farm comprising of cattle, sheep and goats located at Gajiri, along Abuja-Kaduna expressway Suleja Local Government Area, Niger State, where some of the animals had symptoms including oozing of blood from their body openings – anus, nose, eyes, and ears,” he said.

“Earlier there were significant movements of animals in the area of the last religious feast. The areas are called down south, and it’s possible that in that region where animals are infected may have made their way into the country.

“Most especially for animals that were brought in across the borders. So, in this context, this is the first animal we have diagnosed its condition with, so there may be other animals with it.”

The country’s public health institute boss also expressed worry that anthrax has spread across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

“It is also possible that the disease is currently across the country and likely other cases that are yet to be notified. But we can only react to what we know,” Adetifa said.

He warned that animals around the reported farm and beyond that are sick should be reported to the human and animal health authority while the slaughtered and dead ones with clotted blood after being killed should be disposed of or notified immediately.

The signs of anthrax-infected animals include the oozing of blood from their body openings – (anus, nose, eyes, and ears), and high fever; it should be noted that, in many cases, the sign is not visible and leads to sudden death.