NIMR director urges FG to vaccinate animals and workers against anthrax.

Vaccinating animals and their handlers against anthrax has been recommended by Prof. Babatunde Salako, Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR).

Salako, speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lagos, stressed the importance of paying close attention to live livestock and their handlers in order to prevent the spread of the disease.

On July 17, the federal government announced that they had found the initial case of anthrax in the United States.

Herbivores like cattle, sheep, and goats are the primary hosts for the anthrax-causing bacteria, Bacillus anthracis.

Direct contact with diseased animals or consumption of contaminated animal products can also infect people with anthrax.

While the general public is being educated on how to stop the disease’s spread, the head of the NIMR recommended focusing on cattle and their handlers.

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Veterinarians need to be more pro-active in their approach to patient care and food-safety inspections of animals.

Disease transmission, associated morbidity, and death can all be dramatically reduced with vaccination campaigns that focus on individuals at risk.

“The government should help farmers who in the course of the epidemic may lose stock to prevent catastrophic economic loss,” he said, adding that “those involved in animal husbandry should be supported by the government to access vaccine for their stock.”

The general director also emphasized the importance of disease surveillance, particularly for animals in transit.

He stressed the importance of coordination between the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the Ministry of Agriculture in coordinating public health response.

He claims that the country can accept and analyze diagnostic samples.

Although diagnosis is straightforward, we’d want to reaffirm that diagnostic labs around the country are prepared to receive and process samples.

The media should “intensify public awareness” of the symptoms and indicators, he said, and the NCDC should issue clear guidelines on how to deal with affected animals and people.

Salako urged Nigerians to prevent the spread of anthrax by following all Ministry of Health and NCDC regulations to the letter.

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