The director general of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Ifedayo Adetifa, has advised citizens of the country about the case of anthrax disease discovered in a farm in Niger state.
Adetife urged the people to refrain from eating animal hides better known as ponmo, bush meats and dead animals.
He expressed worry over the outbreak of anthrax disclosing that there is one reported case in Nigeria.
The NNDC boss noted that with the collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development they were able to investigate the case and dispose the affected animal and products.
Ifedayo advised all animal owners that have the ones that are or have died or animals that have been slaughtered whose blood did not clot to notify veterinary services immediately because this is most likely a case of animal anthrax.
He also warned that the disease might be in other states that his team are yet discover.
“Anthrax exists in nature. The bacteria has the ability to make it exist in forms that make it very resistant to climatic or other extreme conditions and can survive in the soil for decades. The bacteria that causes anthrax is naturally occurring. Typically, they are brought to the surface when people dig or interfere with the soil or when animals are feeding or grazing.
“When they ingest the spores or inhale the spores of this bacterium, the animals can get infected. It is in recognition of the naturally occurring bacteria that there have been efforts to weaponize and use it in terrorism attacks. It was not developed as a bioweapon, anthrax actually occurs in nature.
“If you like bush meat, this could be a time to take a break from it, particularly if you don’t catch it yourself. We ask that livestock be properly inspected and people who own animals should not take sick animals for slaughter because the bacteria that cause anthrax can infect both animals and humans.
“It is primarily an animal disease but humans who are exposed to sick animals are also at risk of catching anthrax. It is a zoonotic illness, and, by definition, zoonotic illness is primarily found in animals but is capable of infecting humans as well. Anthrax meets the definition.”