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One person, 18 cows dead as anthrax hits Bududa

Rapid response vet team prepared to bury dead cow . PHOTO UVA MEDIA

Uganda Veterinary Association team on surveillance in Elgon region

Mbale, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT |  Veterinary authorities in Manafwa district have imposed a temporal quarantine following the outbreak of anthrax in Bududa district.

One person has since died and thirteen others hospitalized after eating meat of dead animals suspected to have died of anthrax. Eighteen animals have also been confirmed dead in Bumabara village, in Bunatsami sub-county.

Anthrax is a zoonotic disease transmissible from animals to human. Humans can avoid disease by not eating animals that die suddenly. Animals dying from anthrax have blood oozing from all body openings and thus must be buried without opening.

Bududa District Production officer Dr Felix  Odong says that tests carried out by the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) on Thursday confirmed the disease.

Man infected after touching animals that died of anthrax

Manafwa District Chief Administrative Officer Peter Henry Wotunya has imposed a temporal quarantine on the district following a resolution from the stake holders meeting from the three districts of Namisindwa, Manafwa and Bududa which border each other.

Bududa District in Elgon region is known for bull fattening farming practice. Which makes them the leading supplier of beef and animals to all neighboring district of Manafwa, Namusidwa, Mbale, and even Kenya.

The CAO has directed that all cattle markets in the district be closed, no movement of animals or animal products in and out of Manafwa district and there will be no slaughtering of cattle, goats, sheep and pigs during the time of quarantine.

“Failure to adhere to quarantine restrictions will lead to prosecution according with the animal disease control Act, cap 38,” the letter reads in part.

The Uganda Veterinary Association (UVA) has call upon Government to intervene quickly to minimize the loss of animals and threat to public health.

The UVA secretary, Bonifance Obbo said veterinarians in the entire Elgon sub region are on high alert and carrying out sensitization of stakeholders and anthrax surveillance.

Obbo, who is also Principal Veterinary officer/District veterinary officer Manafwa said “this out break causes public health risk to all those districts. Bull fattening of cross breed bulls which sometimes it is sold up to 4million shilling per bull.”

Rapid response vet team already at Bunatsami, Bumalaka village sensitize farmers. PHOTOS COURTESY UVA

Obbo called for government support through immediate provisions of vaccine for livestock, Provision of PPEs to front line veterinarians responding to the outbreak

According to WHO for Animal Health, infected animals may present with high fever, muscle tremors, and difficulty breathing seen shortly before the animal collapses and dies. Un-clotted blood may exude from all the natural openings and the body may not stiffen after death.

Although routine vaccination has been identified as the only viable preventive measure, local governments often rely on donations from other organizations to acquire the vaccines.

In 2017, the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries upgraded Anthrax as a priority bacterial animal disease but the government has not started supplying the necessary vaccines to local governments.



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