Following the reported outbreak of Anthrax disease in some neighbouring countries, the Federal Government has advised Nigerians to stop eating hides (ponmo), smoked meat and bush meat.
Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Ernest Umakhihe, gave the warning on Monday in a statement in Abuja.
Umakhihe said it was necessary to alert Nigerians on the outbreak of the disease which is currently ravaging Northern Ghana bordering Burkina Faso and Togo.
According to him, Anthrax is transferred from infected animals to humans, as its spores are naturally found in the soil and commonly affect domestic and wild animals.
Although people can get infected with Anthrax spores if they come in contact with infected animals or contaminated animal products, it is not a contagious disease.
Its signs include 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.
“The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development hereby alerts the general public on the outbreak of Anthrax in some neighbouring Countries within the West African Sub-Region; specifically, Northern Ghana Bordering Burkina Faso and Togo,” he said.
The bacteria disease, which has claimed some lives, 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.
Being a bacterial disease, it responds to treatment with antibiotics and supportive therapy.
“The general public is strongly advised to desist from the consumption of hides (pomo), smoked meat and bush meat as they pose serious risks 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.
“Furthermore, 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 servicesn ationwide,” he said.