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158 cattle die from suspected foot and mouth disease in greater Aweil

158 cattle die from suspected foot and mouth disease in greater Aweil

Suspected foot and mouth disease has killed at least 158 cattle in greater Aweil Counties, Northern Bahr el Ghazal state, an official has revealed.

Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a serious and highly contagious animal disease that affects all cloven-hoofed animals including cattle, sheep, goats, camelids, deer, and pigs. It causes blisters in and around the mouth area and infected animals may drool or limp.

It is easily spread through contaminated feed and water, animal transport vehicles, and equipment, clothing and footwear.

The State Ministry of Animal Resources and Fisheries said the disease has been high among livestock during the current rainy season and flash floods.

Luka Manut Jel,  Director General in the State Ministry told Akol Yam FM that they do not have drugs to control animal deaths from the foot and mouth disease. He said the drugs are expected to arrive in the state next week.

“The livestock which died in Aweil East are 20, Aweil West are 50, Aweil South are 25, Aweil North are 15, and in Aweil Center County, 48 died,” he disclosed.

“We are prepared to response but I urge cattle keepers to keep their livestock away from flood water.”

Foot-and-mouth disease can be transmitted in air particles between animals housed closely together. The virus causes high fever lasting 2 to 6 days, followed by blisters inside the mouth and on the feet that may rupture and cause lameness.

The disease is estimated to circulate in 77% of the global livestock population, in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, as well as in a limited area of South America. It has a significant economic impact

Each strain of the disease requires a specific vaccine to provide immunity to a vaccinated animal. Its prevention is based on the presence of early detection and warning systems and the implementation of effective surveillance among other measures.