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JUST-IN: Nigeria Records First Case Of Anthrax

The Federal Government on Monday announced that the first case of dreaded animal disease, named anthrax has been recorded in the country.

A statement issued by Dr Columba Vakuru, Chief Veterinary Officer of Nigeria, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the case was recorded in a farm, located in Suleja, Niger State.

Anthrax is caused by the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus, which mostly affects livestock like cattle, sheep, and goats. However, it can also infect people who come into contact with infected people or contaminated animal products like meat, wool, or skins.

Vakuru disclosed that upon receiving a distress call from the farm, a team of animal health experts was immediately dispatched to the place.

The statement reads, ” On 14th of July, 2023 the Office of the Chief Veterinary Officer of Nigeria was notified of animals manifesting symptoms of a suspected case of anthrax in a farm in Suleja, Niger State.

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

“A Rapid Response team comprising of federal and state One Health Professional Team visited the farm to conduct preliminary investigations and collected samples from the sick animals.

“Subsequent laboratory tests by the National Veterinary Research Institute laboratory confirmed the diagnosis, marking the first recorded case of anthrax in Nigeria in recent years and after the report of an outbreak of anthrax in Northern Ghana a few weeks ago. All animals affected have died.

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“Anthrax is caused by the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis, which primarily affects animals such as cattle, sheep, and goats but can also infect humans who come into direct contact with infected animals or contaminated animal products, such as meat, wool, or hides.

“Inhalation anthrax may occur through the inhalation of spores, while cutaneous anthrax can result from contact with contaminated materials or through open wounds”.

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