- Anthrax is one of the top six prioritized animal diseases in West Nile region but no emergency response from the Ministry has been accorded since the first cases were reported early this year
- There are now plans to impose a quarantine on animal movement despite the earlier defiance of the quarantine in Moyo district and Nebbi.
- Farmers are advised to deep burry dead animals as a temporary preventive measure
By Candia Stephen
Arua-Fourteen new deadly cases of human Anthrax have been reported in Pawor Sub County Arua district with five of them most serious.
Dr Willy Nguma, the district veterinary officer Arua confirmed the outbreak of the disease adding that one person with a swollen arm has been admitted at Pawor health center three.
This is the third Sub County to be affected by the disease since February this year after Rhino Camp in lower Madi and Odupi Sub County in Terego, which reported the first cases in the district two weeks ago.
According to Dr Nguma, the disease has already killed 60 herds of cattle with 14 human cases in four villages of Panduku parish, Pawor Sub County alone, which he described as more serious than those earlier reported in Rhino camp and Invepi, which had two human cases.
He says most farmers in Pawor did not attribute deaths of their animals to Anthrax not until this month when they discovered swellings on the animals while skinning them.
“The disease presents with sudden death of animals after collapsing and blood oozes out of the nostrils, anus, mouth and other natural openings,” Dr Nguma said.
Dr Nguma notes that the latest case in Pawor has been reported to the Ministry of health and samples sent to government laboratory in Entebbe for further investigations.
The Veterinary further warns that ‘at this rate and with more rains, more cases could rise up, further intimating that neighbouring Sub Counties like Ogoko and Okollo all in Arua district stand a high risk of getting the infection in the near future if no steps are taken.
“Animal need to be vaccinated but the challenge here is that a single dose of vaccine costs shs 1,500 in Kampala and more in Arua, which many of the farmers may not afford and at the moment we are just at high risk,” Dr Nguma said.
Dr Nguma also appeals to humanitarian agencies, which he says are beneficiaries in a holistic manner to intervene since over 96-percent of diseases affecting humans now originate from animals.