The Director of Veterinary Services in the Cross River State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Obi Patrick, has advocated early sensitisation of the citizens over the outbreak of the zoonotic disease, Anthrax.
Speaking to journalists, Patrick warned that the spread of the disease is rapid and knows no boundaries.
“There is a serious need to create awareness for Nigerians to know about the prevalence of the anthrax disease. Let members of the public know that there is a disease outbreak that has been reported and that they should be on alert.
To avert widespread attacks, he advised that people should now slow down their consumption of meat.
“For those who like to consume bush meat and hide (pomo), you have to slow down now or only eat hide from approved abattoirs where you are sure that the meats are inspected by officials of the state government,” he said.
He said before the outbreak of the disease, the department of veterinary services in the state Ministry of Agriculture had control posts where all the animals coming into the state were stopped and checked.
He said that with the news of an outbreak, they have intensified their surveillance to ensure that animals that were sick or dead were not allowed into Cross River.
“For those already in the state, livestock owners are advised to report any case of sick animals on their farms or at home to a Veterinary doctor or the department of veterinary services, nothing should be taken for granted.”
He explained that the obvious clinical signs of anthrax include dullness, going off feed, in a very short time; the animal becomes very sick and bleeds from its body openings without the blood clothing.
“Also, when the animal dies, its carcass does not become stiff; these are clear suspicions, but the final diagnosis is a laboratory examination which is done at the National Veterinary Research Institute, Vom, Plateau,” he added.