The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has alerted Nigerians on the outbreak of Anthrax in some neighbouring countries within the West African sub-region.
Following the development, the ministry strongly advised Nigerians to desist from the consumption of hides (ponmo), smoked meat and bush meat as they pose serious risk until the situation is brought under control.
A statement signed by the Permanent Secretary of ministry, Dr Ernest Afolabi Umakhihe, said the outbreak was first recorded in northern Ghana bordering Burkina Faso and Togo putting the whole sub-region at risk.
“The disease which has claimed some lives, is a bacterial disease that affects both animals and man, that is a zoonotic disease. Anthrax spores are naturally found in the soil and commonly affect domestic and wild animals.”
“People can get infected with Anthrax spores if they come in contact with infected animals or contaminated animal products. However, Anthrax is not a contagious disease and so, one cannot get it by coming in close contact with an infected person.
“Signs of anthrax are flu- like symptoms such as cough, fever, muscle aches and if not diagnosed and treated early, lead to pneumonia, severe lung problems, difficulty in breathing, shock and death,” the statement read in part.
The statement further warned the general public against closeness to non-vaccinated animals with Anthrax as it can easily be transmitted to man through the inhalation of Anthrax spores including consumption of contaminated/Infected animal products, such as hides and skin, meat or milk.