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FG Raises Alarm Over Deadly Virus Outbreak, Warns “Ponmo Dangerous For Now’

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By Victoria Onehi

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has alerted the public of an outbreak of Anthrax in some neighbouring countries within the West African Sub-Region; specifically, Northern Ghana Bordering Burkina Faso and Togo.

A Statement by the Permanent Secretary of Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Dr Ernest Afolabi Umakhih, today Monday said the Disease which has claimed some lives, is a Bacterial Disease that affects both Animals and Man, that is a Zoonotic Disease. Anthrax spores are naturally found in the soil and commonly affect Domestic and Wild Animals.

” People can get infected with Anthrax spores if they come in contact with INFECTED ANIMALS OR CONTAMINATED ANIMAL PRODUCTS. However, ANTHRAX IS NOT A CONTAGIOUS DISEASE and so, one cannot get it by coming in close Contact with an Infected Person.

” The General Public is strongly advised to desist from the consumption of Hides (pomo), Smoked Meat and Bush Meat as they pose serious risk until the situation is brought under Control.

“Meanwhile, the public is urged to remain calm and vigilant as the Federal Government has resuscitated a Standing Committee on the Control of Anthrax in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.”Umakhih stated.

The statement further disclosed that signs of Anthrax are Flu- like symptoms such as Cough, Fever, Muscle Aches and if not diagnosed and treated early, lead to Pneumonia, Severe Lung problems, difficulty in Breathing, Shock and Death.

“It is Primarily a Disease of Animals but because of Man’s closeness to Animals, non Vaccinated Animals with Anthrax can easily be Transmitted to man through the inhalation of Anthrax spores or Consumption of Contaminated/Infected Animal products, such as Hides and Skin. 

” Infected Dead Animals should be buried deep into the soil along with equipment used in the burial after applying Chemicals that will kill the Anthrax Spores.” he stated.

Umakhih further disclosed that relevant Institutions and Collaborators have been Contacted with the aim of controlling the Outbreak. This is in addition to the Sensitization of State Directors of Veterinary Services Nationwide.

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