Nigeria has recorded index cases of anthrax, a bacterial disease that affects domestic and wild animals and can infect human beings.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, officially confirmed the development in a statement signed by the Chief Veterinary Officer of Nigeria, Columba Vakuru.
Vakuru said animals showing signs of a possible case of anthrax on a farm in Suleja, Niger State, were reported to his office on 14 July.
“The case was in a multi-specie animal farm comprising of cattle, sheep and goats located at Gajiri, along Abuja-Kaduna expressway in Suleja Local Government Area, Niger State, where some of the animals had symptoms including oozing of blood from their body openings – anus, nose, eyes and ears.” the statement partly read.
According to experts, anthrax outbreaks are fairly common worldwide and mostly affect agricultural workers.
Humans become sick with the disease by handling animal products such as wool, hide or bone from animals infected with the anthrax bacterium, NAN reported.
Anthrax is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. The bacteria live in the soil and usually infects wild and domestic animals, such as goats, cattle and sheep.
According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), those with pulmonary anthrax are at risk of respiratory collapse and suffer the highest mortality rate of any anthrax victims, with 92 per cent of cases resulting in death.