Deadly Anthrax Outbreak in Nigeria Linked to Ponmo Consumption

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) has confirmed the first anthrax disease case detected in a farm in the Suleja area of Niger State. The case was reported on July 14, 2023, after some animals showed symptoms of bleeding from their body openings. The National Veterinary Research Institute laboratory confirmed the diagnosis of anthrax, a bacterial disease that affects both animals and humans.

The FMARD had earlier warned Nigerians to avoid consuming hides popularly known as ponmo and bush meats, as anthrax was spreading in the northern part of Ghana bordering Burkina Faso and Togo. Anthrax can be transmitted to humans through contact with infected animals or contaminated animal products, such as meat, wool, or hides. Anthrax can cause severe illness and death if not treated promptly.

The FMARD advised Nigerians to maintain good hygiene practices on the farm, practice biosecurity measures, ensure a clean and safe water supply for livestock, and isolate sick animals. The ministry also urged people to report any suspected cases of anthrax to the nearest veterinary authority or health facility for prompt intervention.

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