26 October 2017

Namibia: 724 People Get Anthrax Treatment

AT least 724 people are receiving treatment against the anthrax which killed 117 hippos and seven buffaloes two weeks ago in the Kavango East region.

Ministry of Environment and Tourism's chief public relations officer, Romeo Muyunda, said in a media statement on Monday that the Ministry of Health and Social Services had placed residents in the Mukwe constituency on treatment as a preventative measure.

"There are no clinical cases of anthrax detected so far in humans and livestock. Livestock movement restrictions in Mukwe constituency remain in place," said Muyunda.

Prophylaxis is treatment given to prevent the spread of diseases such as anthrax, which is an infectious disease caused by bacteria known as bacillus anthracis and affects both wild and domestic herbivores including cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, elephants and antelopes.

Due to the rapid progression of the disease, most animals that get anthrax are found dead and may ooze dark blood from their orifices and the carcasses normally bloat and decompose rapidly.

Muyunda said awareness campaigns are currently ongoing and the public's support towards the outbreak has been remarkable.

He further said 117 hippo and seven buffalo carcasses were disposed of since the operation started on 13 October.

He added that vaccination of livestock would continue this week in the affected areas and advised farmers to take their livestock to the vaccination points.

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