Anthrax Outbreak: Temporary Ban on Ruminant Movement in Upper East

In a proactive measure to safeguard public health and prevent the spread of anthrax disease, the Upper East Regional Coordinating Council has recently imposed a one-month ban on the movement of ruminants along the Eastern corridors of the region. This decision comes in response to the outbreak of anthrax disease in several parts of the area. By implementing this ban, local authorities aim to protect both human and animal populations from further exposure to this infectious disease.

Anthrax Outbreak and its Consequences

Anthrax, caused by the Bacillus anthracis bacteria, is a highly contagious disease that primarily affects livestock but can also be transmitted to humans. Tragically, one person has already lost their life in the Upper East region after consuming the carcass of an anthrax-infected cow. To prevent further casualties and contain the outbreak, the regional authorities have taken swift action.

Ban Details and Affected Areas

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The ban, effective immediately from June 6, 2023, prohibits the movement of ruminants, including cattle, sheep, goats, and dogs, along the Eastern corridors of the region. The affected areas encompass the Bawku Municipality, Bawku West, Pusiga, Garu, Tempane, and Binduri Districts. This temporary restriction aims to minimize the risk of transmission and halt the geographical spread of the disease.

Testing and Treatment

To identify potential cases and ensure prompt treatment, the Regional Director of Health Services, Dr Emmanuel Dzotse, has indicated that 11 individuals are currently suspected of having consumed the infected animal’s carcass. These individuals will undergo testing, and if necessary, they will receive treatment with antibiotics such as Ciprofloxacin and Doxycycline. It is essential to detect and treat affected individuals promptly to prevent the disease from spreading further.

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Preventive Measures and Enforcement

In addition to the ban on ruminant movement, the Council has mandated the Municipal and District Chief Executives to implement a ban on the slaughter, sale, and consumption of cattle, sheep, goats, and dogs in the affected districts. Strict enforcement of these measures is crucial to prevent any potential exposure to the anthrax bacteria. The Council has also called upon the Police to apprehend any individuals or groups who violate these directives, emphasizing the importance of adherence to protect public health.

Vaccination Campaign and Stakeholder Cooperation

To combat the anthrax outbreak, the Council has directed Veterinary officers to commence anthrax vaccination for the identified categories of ruminants immediately. Vaccination plays a vital role in preventing the disease from spreading and protects the livestock population. The Council emphasizes the need for collaboration and support from all stakeholders, including farmers, veterinarians, and the general public, to effectively tackle the outbreak before it escalates into a regional or national catastrophe.

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