Home Health Uganda Steps Up Animal Vaccination Over Anthrax Outbreak

Uganda Steps Up Animal Vaccination Over Anthrax Outbreak

Anthrax outbreak
Anthrax outbreak

Uganda has intensified the vaccination of animals following the outbreak of anthrax, which has claimed at least 18 lives in the central district of Kyotera.

John Lutaaya, the Kyotera District veterinary officer, told Xinhua in a recorded message Friday they have received vaccines for 10,000 head of cattle from the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries. “We received 10,000 doses from the Ministry of Agriculture on Wednesday and the veterinary staff have already started using the vaccine,” he said. “We are concentrating on Kabira sub-county where the problem started but from there our area of interest will be Kasaali and Kasasa sub-counties.”

According to the official, they had taken other measures to ensure that vaccinated animals are not slaughtered for consumption. “When you vaccinate an animal, it takes 21 days before people can consume it. We fear slaughtering incubating animals would cause a risk to humans,” Lutaaya said. He also said the authorities would allow restricted movement of animal products to minimize possible infection. “We encourage the communities to reduce the handling of raw milk. Ensure that as soon as you get milk, boil it,” he said.

On Dec. 1, President Yoweri Museveni warned residents of Kyotera against consuming meat from unknown sources following the outbreak of anthrax a month earlier. Anthrax is spread from animals to humans following consumption of infected meat or physical contact. It is caused by a bacteria called Bacillus anthracis.

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