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Nigeria confirms first Anthrax case near Abuja

Anthrax

Nigeria has recorded its first confirmed case of the Anthrax disease in a farm close to the country’s capital city, Abuja.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development disclosed this in a a statement signed by the chief veterinary officer of Nigeria, Dr Columba Vakuru, on Monday.

According to the statement, some animals displaying symptoms of anthrax were reported to the office of the chief veterinary officer of Nigeria on July 14, on a farm located in Suleja, Niger state.

The ministry said the case was in a multi-specie animal farm comprising cattle, sheep and goats located at Gajiri, along the Abuja-Kaduna Expressway, Suleja Local Government Area of Niger state.

Some of the animals had symptoms including; oozing of blood from their body openings like anus, nose, eyes and ears.

It also stated that a team of federal and state health professionals collected samples from the affected animals and conducted preliminary investigations on the farm.

The ministry said subsequent laboratory tests by the National Veterinary Research Institute’s laboratory confirmed the diagnosis, “marking the first recorded case of anthrax in Nigeria in recent years”.

“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,” he said.

“Anthrax that spreads via the skin might result through open wounds or contact with contaminated objects, while anthrax that spreads through the air can happen when spores are inhaled.”

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The ministry said the federal government had appealled to Nigerians to immediately report cases of animals bleeding from body openings to veterinary authorities or agriculture extension workers.

“The blood of an anthrax-infected animal does not clot. Do not process or move the dead or sick animal, quickly report to your veterinary doctor or veterinary authorities at the ministry of agriculture in your state,” the statement added.

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Ihesiulo Grace

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