Outbreak of foot and mouth disease in Vihiga forces quarantine
11 February 2014, 21:40
Vihiga - An outbreak of foot and mouth disease in Vihiga County has forced veterinary officers to impose quarantine that is expected to last for a month.
Already one animal has succumbed to the disease in the region, and several others have been diagnosed to have possible symptoms of the disease.
In a notice that was issued on Monday by the county director of veterinary Dr Leonard Masinde, and copied to the director of veterinary services in Kabete, area governor, and other parties concerned, several animals were required to be detained in Sabatia, Hamisi and Vihiga sub-counties.
“We have an outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the county and have already picked up samples that we have sent to our laboratories at Kabete in Nairobi for further action by the ministry. Cattle, sheep, goats and their products are therefore required to be detained on or in Sabatia, Hamisi and Vihiga sub-counties,” Masinde said.
He said that vaccination will start immediately and is expected to run for around two weeks if the ministry will come in quickly and release funds for the exercise where more than 12 000 animals are targeted to be vaccinated.
He warned the residents to be careful while handling meat from animals that have not been inspected by the relevant veterinary officers, and further said that all animal auction markets in the county had been temporarily closed.
“No stock or other animal shall be moved from or into any such areas without the written permission of the director of veterinary services or the veterinary officer in charge of the area, and no other animal shall be moved from any such area unless previously disinfected in a manner directed by the veterinary officer or the inspector in charge of such area,” he said.
Masinde said that all stock in the area shall be herded as far as possible from any public road and people should not leave any such area without having complied with the reasonable precautions for preventing the spread of disease as may be required by the veterinary officers.
He also advised the residents that the carcasses of all animals dying from disease shall forthwith be either buried at the depth of not less than four feet below the surface of the ground or burnt at the expense of the owner.
Foot and mouth disease is an infectious viral disease that affects cloven-hoofed animals where the virus causes a high fever for two or three days, followed by blisters inside the mouth and on the feet that may rupture and cause lameness.
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