Officials with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) are reporting the death of ten buffaloes at Lake Nakuru National Park, according to Kenyan media reports.
Anthrax infection is the suspected cause of the die-off of the animals.
“We have taken surveillance action and everything now is under control as our veterinary doctors are on the ground vaccinating the buffaloes and monitoring the situation,” said KWS spokesperson Paul Gathitu.
“During such prolonged drought, the disease tend to manifest itself very fast and this is one of the reason we suspect is the cause of the disease,” Mr. Gathitu added.
According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, Anthrax is a zoonotic disease caused by the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis. Anthrax is most common in wild and domestic animals but can also be seen in humans exposed to tissue from infected animals, contaminated animal products or directly to B anthracis spores under certain conditions.
Depending on the route of infection, host factors, and potentially strain-specific factors,anthrax can have several different clinical presentations. In herbivores, anthrax commonly presents as an acute septicemia with a high fatality rate, often accompanied by hemorrhagic lymphadenitis.
B. anthracis spores can remain infective in soil for many years. During this time, they are a potential source of infection for grazing livestock. Grazing animals may become infected when they ingest sufficient quantities of these spores from the soil.In addition to direct transmission, biting flies may mechanically transmit B. anthracis spores from one animal to another.
People can get anthrax by handling contaminated animal or animal products, consuming undercooked meat of infected animals and more recently, intentional release of spores.
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