Kaduna state government has procured 150,000 doses of anti-anthrax vaccines to forestall any outbreak of the disease in the state.
The State Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry, Dr. Manzo Maigari, made this known at a one-day training workshop on Zoonosis (diseases transferred from animals or insect to human) for Journalists, organized by the Kaduna state chapter of the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA) in collaboration with Africa Media Development Foundation (AMDF), and the Ministry.
The commissioner, who was represented by his Permanent Secretary at the event, Abdulkadir Kassim, said the state has taken proactive measures to prevent the outbreak of the disease.
He said, “We will make sure that animals are not being exposed to suspected animals infected. The first line of action is to ensure that our animals are vaccinated.
“Vaccination is the surest way of prevention, and that is why the state is working with the Nigerian Veterinary Research Institute, Vom – the sole producers of animal vaccines, so as to start what is called ‘ring vaccination’ in those border locations that we suspect animals would be coming into the state.
“We have already stationed veterinary doctors and staffs to monitor livestock coming in from bordering states,” he added.
The commissioner advised breeders of animals to avoid contact, especially with animals that have symptoms of bleeding from their nose or ears, but report such cases immediately to the appropriate authorities where samples would be taken for test, while the carcass of the animal is to be burnt in a ditch and buried.
“These kinds of animals die within one and two days, so also humans that are infected.”
He also pointed out the doses of vaccines that would be utilized for preventive measures against anthrax, rabies, and avian influenza, among others, to avoid any ‘catastrophic outbreak’.
Anthrax is an infectious disease caused by bacteria known as Bacillus anthracis. It can be found naturally in soil and commonly affects domestic and wild animals around the world.
People can get sick with anthrax if they come in contact with infected animals or contaminated animal products. It causes severe illness in both humans and animals.
Although, Anthrax is not contagious but domestic and wild animals such as cattle, sheep, goats, antelopes, and deer can become infected when they breathe in or ingest spores in contaminated soil, plants, or water. In areas where domestic animals have had anthrax in the past, routine vaccination can help prevent outbreaks.
People get infected with anthrax when spores get into the body. When anthrax spores get inside the body, they can be “activated.” When they become active, the bacteria can multiply, spread out in the body, produce toxins (poisons), and cause severe illness. This, too, can happen when people breathe in spores, eat food or drink water that is contaminated with spores, or get spores in a cut or scrape in the skin.