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Anthrax disease hits 2 Plateau communities

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Plateau State Government on Saturday announced that two communities in the state have been hit by suspected cases of anthrax disease.

The government disclosed this in a statement signed by the Director of Press and Public Affairs, Gyang Bere, and made available to journalists.

The statement, which was silent on the name of the affected communities, however, said that the government had directed the Epidemiology unit of the Ministry of Health and the Veterinary unit of the Ministry of Agriculture to address the issues with every sense of urgency, adding that samples had been taken to National Veterinary Research Institute Vom for thorough assessment and further investigation.

The statement read: “The attention of the Plateau State Government has been drawn to a story published in some national newspapers and trending on social media that over 1,000 cows died of a strange disease within a space of four days in some villages in the Mangu Local Government Area of the state.

“The said story is far from the truth, as it does not reflect the reality of happenings in the communities mentioned conspicuously in the story. For the avoidance of doubt, there is no such incident in any part of Mangu Local Government Area and the government has not received information about the mass death of animals from any of the communities mentioned in the reports.

“The story is based on hearsay, and there is no credible source that has authenticated the story, which has created tension in the affected communities.

“The government, therefore advises the General public, particularly members of the said communities to disregard the misleading story and assured Plateau people that a team of epidemiologists has been sent to the affected communities on the instruction of Governor Caleb Manasseh Mutfwang to ascertain the truth of the story to prevent loss of lives.

“However, there are two suspected cases of anthrax disease in two communities in the state. The samples have been taken to National Veterinary Research Institute Vom for thorough assessment and further investigation. While waiting for the outcome, Government would like to make it clear that there was no mass death of 1,000 cows in the mentioned areas as reported in the story”.

The statement enjoined members of the public to note that the risk of contracting human cases of anthrax increases with exposure to infected animals, their meat, or hides.

While the government has directed the Epidemiology unit of the Ministry of Health and the Veterinary unit of the Ministry of Agriculture to address the issues with every sense of urgency,

It advised members of the public to avoid contact with infected livestock and animal skins as much as possible and also avoid eating meat that has not been properly cooked as well as quickly call the attention of the authorities when there is suspicion of a sick animal or persons.

The statement equally urged the people to go about their normal activities and report any strange signs or any unusual activities for swift intervention by the relevant authorities.

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