The government of Sierra Leone on Monday officially reported an outbreak of anthrax among animals in the Port Loko District of the North West Province.
A joint press statement from the ministries of Health and Agriculture said that the government is evaluating its options to institute restrictions on the production processing and marketing of livestock and livestock products, mainly cattle, sheep, and goats.
“While a comprehensive set of restrictions is being considered, the ministries would advise members of the public to report to officials of those two ministries any case of sick cattle, sheep, and goats in their household, neighborhood, or community,” read the statement. “In the meantime, we wish to advise all not to try and administer treatment on the sick animals on your own or eat them or their products.”
The government revealed that anthrax is a serious infectious disease that commonly affects farms and domestic and wild animals.
“People can get sick with anthrax if they come in contact with infected animals or contaminated animal products. Anthrax can cause severe illness in both humans and animals. However, it is a treatable condition,” said health authorities.
In a separate statement, Sierra Leone’s Health Ministry said that any person residing in the Port Loko District and some other areas or have traveled to these areas since March presenting with acute onset of illness characterized by symptoms of anthrax should report to the nearest health authorities for medical attention.
No human case has been confirmed so far. Enditem