The Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Monday, officially confirmed the first case of anthrax in the country.
According to a statement signed by the Chief Veterinary Officer of Nigeria, Dr. Columba T. Vakuru , animals showing signs of a possible case of anthrax on a farm in Suleja, Niger State, were reported to the Office of the Chief Veterinary Officer of Nigeria on July 14, 2023.
The statement reads in part, “The case was in a multi-specie animal farm comprising of cattle, sheep and goats located at Gajiri, along Abuja-Kaduna express way Suleja LGA Niger State, where some of the animals had symptoms including oozing of blood from their body openings – anus, nose, eyes and ears.
“A Rapid Response team comprising of federal and states One Health Professional Team visited the farm to conduct preliminary investigations and collected samples from the sick animals. Subsequent laboratory tests by the National Veterinary Research Institute laboratory confirmed the diagnosis, marking the first recorded case of anthrax in Nigeria in recent years.”
Anthrax is a serious infectious disease caused by gram-positive, rod-shaped bacteria known as Bacillus anthracis. It occurs naturally in soil and commonly affects domestic and wild animals around the world.
What does anthrax do to a human? It can cause a skin infection, or a severe digestive illness that resembles “food poisoning.” Another form of the disease – “inhalation” anthrax – results when you breathe in the bacteria. Symptoms usually show up within seven days (typically two to five days) after you’re exposed.