Nigerian Customs tightens borders over Charcoal Anthrax disease outbreak
By Buchi Iwuji, Owerri
The Nigerian Custom Service NCS has taken precautionary measures towards securing the nation’s borders against possible outbreak of the dreaded Charcoal Anthrax diseases which is transmitted from animals to man.
In a statewide statement issued to all zones from the NCS headquarters and signed by Comptroller in charge of enforcement, Dimka V. D on behalf of the Deputy Comptroller General in charge of Enforcement, Investigation, and Inspection, NCS, appeals to all Zonal Comptroller to ensure that borders leading to and from their catchments are well secured against the possible influx of the diseases.
According to the release, the infectious Anthrax agent bacteria can survive for several years in the soil before being ingested by grazing animals. The disease was first reported in Niger’s Tillaberry region on 23rd September 2019, where it killed 3 cattles. Since then, over 100 cattles have been infected with 22 recorded death.
It was reported that transmission to humans occur directly or indirectly from infected animal or due to occupational exposure to contaminated animals products.
The disease, the report has it, manifest either as a scratch that could progress into a sepsis or as pulmonary infection due to inhalation of Micro-Organisms suspended in the air, without immediate treatment Charcoal Anthrax is fatal in 20% of cases.
When our correspondent contacted Imo command of the NCS, the Comptroller, Kayode Olusemire was on his annual leave. However, the PRO, Chioma Onuoha declined comment.
In his reaction, Imo State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Vincent Udokwu said the State Ministry of Health is unaware of the outbreak adding that he is personally aware of such diseases but advise that such information should be taken seriously especially, as it emanates from the nation’s Customs Service.
Dr. Udokwu who spoke on a professional note said it is also important for all Ministries of Agriculture nationwide to take the campaign and awareness to the grassroot to avoid a possible outbreak in Nigeria.