By: Chinonso Nwosu

Anthrax was confirmed in Suleja, Niger state, Nigeria on the July 13, 2023, where the sudden death of eight livestock was reported. The clinical signs observed were bleeding from the external orifices such as nose, ears, eyes, and anus without clotting, which are core signs of anthrax.

Image/Robert Herriman

Following the mortality, samples were taken the following day and sent to the National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI), VOM Plateau State for testing and the results were positive for anthrax.

In addition, the Lagos state government have also confirmed anthrax infected animals in the state while revealing six of the infected animal have been confiscated, burnt and buried and there has been human exposure to this disease but so far there has been no symptom or mortality.

The country’s public health boss has also expressed concern that anthrax has spread across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. Although no other case has been reported since then, almost all states in the country has been trained for surveillance and case investigation and some states have also began vaccination operation to combat the rise and spread of the disease and this was handled by Federal Ministry of Agriculture And Rural Development (FMARD) in collaboration with Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to report the disease once there are suspected new cases.

Signs of human anthrax include raised, itchy bump which develops into a painless sore with a black center, fever, nausea, abdominal pain, headache, loss of appetite and flu like symptoms.

Chinonso Nwosu is a final year veterinary medical student from Nigeria with an interest in Global Health Security. She also hosts an online series titled Zoonosis Series.

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