Sierra Leone: Anthrax Disease Outbreak Kills 223 Livestock

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By: Christian Conteh

Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Agriculture has as of Monday 16th May 2022 confirmed the death of 91 heads of cattle, 53 goats and 79 sheep bringing the total to 223 livestock.

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The death of these animals follows the outbreak of Anthrax disease in Port Loko District in the North-Western Region of the country.

This was confirmed by Dr. Abu Bakarr Karim, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry at an emergency news conference held at Youyi Building, Brookfields in Freetown.

“On behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture I wish to take this opportunity to inform you of a confirmed case of Anthrax in the Port Loko District in the North-Western Region of the country,” Minister Abu Bakarr Karim said.

According to the minister, in Sierra Leone Anthrax falls under the category of re-emerging zoonotic (affects both animals and humans) diseases with the last reported outbreak in the country in 1994.

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“The outbreak of Anthrax has so far been detected in the District of Port Loko to date a total of 91 heads of cattle, 53 goats and 79 sheep in Kamasondo and Gbakiloko,” he said.

Anthrax is a serious infectious disease caused by rod-shaped bacteria known as Bacillus Anthracis. Anthrax can be found naturally in soil and commonly affects domestic and wild animals around the world. Since it is zoonotic humans can also be infected.

The Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Health have under the one health platform encouraged Sierra Leoneans to report any sign of sick animals and urged everyone to avoid treating sick animals or eating their products.

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