In response to an outbreak of anthrax disease in neighboring countries within the West African sub-region, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture has issued a public advisory urging people to refrain from consuming certain animal products. The ministry’s warning specifically targets the consumption of hides, popularly known as ponmo, as well as smoked and bush meat.
Anthrax is a bacterial disease caused by the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus anthracis. It affects both animals and humans and can be transmitted through direct contact with infected animals or consumption of contaminated animal products. Recently, there have been reported cases of anthrax in Northern Ghana, which shares borders with Burkina Faso and Togo.
The anthrax spores, naturally found in the soil, commonly affect domestic and wild animals. Inhalation of these spores or consumption of contaminated animal products, such as hides, skin, meat, or milk, can easily transmit the disease to humans. It is important to note that anthrax cannot be transmitted from one human to another.
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture, through its press statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, Ernest Afolabi Umakhihe, highlights the seriousness of the disease and the need for immediate precautions. Anthrax poses a significant health risk to humans, and prompt action is necessary to prevent its spread.
Symptoms of anthrax infection in humans resemble flu-like symptoms, including cough, fever, and muscle aches. If left undiagnosed and untreated, the infection can progress to pneumonia, severe lung problems, breathing difficulties, shock, and even death. However, anthrax can be effectively treated with antibiotics and supportive therapy.
To address the outbreak and protect public health, the ministry has resuscitated its standing Committee on the control of the disease. This committee will work in collaboration with relevant institutions and partners to implement control measures and prevent the further spread of the disease.
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture urges the public to remain calm and vigilant. By following the advisory and avoiding the consumption of hides, smoked and bush meat until further notice, individuals can protect themselves from potential exposure to anthrax. It is crucial to ensure that all animal products are obtained from reliable and certified sources to minimize the risk of contamination.
The ministry advises citizens to report any suspicious symptoms or cases related to anthrax to the appropriate authorities. Heightened vigilance, coupled with prompt medical attention, can help in the early diagnosis and treatment of the disease.
As the Federal Ministry of Agriculture takes proactive measures to address the outbreak, it urges citizens to stay informed through official channels and cooperate with the ongoing efforts to prevent the further spread of anthrax. Regular updates will be provided to keep the public informed about the progress of control measures and any changes to the advisory.