Following the confirmation of the first case of Anthrax in Nigeria, a veterinarian in Bauchi state, Dr Shehu Abdulkadir Zailani has said that there is a need for state governments, to embark on a massive vaccination exercise against the disease.
Anthrax, which experts say is relatively rare in humans, was first confirmed in a farm in Niger state, days after the federal government alerted the public on the outbreak of the disease in Northern Ghana, and advised Nigerians to refrain from the consumption of hides, otherwise known as ponmo, smoked meat, and bush meat.
Dr. Zailani said the state governments must be on red alert as the contacts of Niger state may eventually find their way to some parts of the country, adding that intensive awareness must be carried out, especially to those at high risk of the disease.
He also advised the governments to ensure that all animals are slaughtered at the abattoir, where they will pass through screening from experts before going to public, to address several zoonotic diseases.
Dr. Shehu Abdulkadir Zailani stressed the need for the compensation of those whose sick animals are slaughtered to encourage pastoralists to report cases of animal diseases to the appropriate authorities.
Also Speaking, the deputy director, veterinary services directorate, Bauchi state ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Yohanna Gayya Dugabe, said that the Bauchi state government has been on red alert as it has alerted all its veterinary officials in all the twenty local government areas of the state on the development.
Dr. Dugabe, therefore, called on butchers to always report to authorities any case whether in the bush or market that shows any sign of Anthrax, for prompt action.
On his part, Dr. Sani Abdulkarim Giade of the Department of community medicine, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Teaching Teaching Hospital Bauchi, said the disease is caused by a bacillus anthracis bacteria and is a zoonotic disease of public health importance, hence the need to accord it the necessary attention.
Signs of Anthrax according to experts are Flu- like symptoms such as cough, fever, headache, while its clinical signs include sudden death and blood oozing from natural body openings such as the nose, ear, mouth, and anal region