The Lagos State University of Science and Technology, Ikorodu, in a workshop, educated residents on salient issues about anthrax disease.

The workshop, organised by the College of Agriculture, LASUSTECH and titled, ‘Preventing the spread of anthrax in Nigeria,’ was delivered by Prof. Yetunde Kuyinu.

She advised handlers to avoid skinning and opening carcasses as it releases bacteria and promotes spore formation which contaminates the environment

Kuyinu added, “Protect carcasses of suspect cases from scavenging animals, report all cases of animal sudden death to the police, Veterinary Department or Health Worker if the Veterinary Officer cannot be found bury the carcass two meters deep with quick lime or burn with paraffin/firewood, seek early treatment if one develops unexplained wound during the time when animals are dying mysteriously, allow mass vaccination of animals by the veterinary officers, avoid handling of carcasses and products of suspected infected animals: hides, milk, dried meat etc.”

While teaching on the prevention and control, she said, “Integrated plan of control activities with health, animal husbandry, environmental and other related sectors, screening of animals, control of the disease in animals is key to prevention of anthrax in humans, quarantine the area, vaccination of susceptible animals, correct disposal of infected carcasses by deep burial, proper disinfection, decontamination and disposal of contaminated materials.”

Kuyinu maintained that infection in humans generally resulted from contact with infected animals, saying that this could be due to occupational exposure to infected or contaminated animal products

“The severe form is anthrax meningitis and the fulminant phase of inhalation of anthrax. They are associated with extremely high mortality rates.”

Kuyinu also listed those at risk, including “People who work with animals: Veterinarians, veterinary laboratory workers, farmers, abattoir workers, butchers, cattle rearers, hunters, importers, and exporters of hide and skin etc. People who consume animals (cattle, sheep, and goats) that were found dead. Healthcare workers. Law enforcement officers (Point of Entry Personnel) and traveler’s going to an area of confirmed anthrax case.”

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