What you should know about foot and mouth disease

Foot and mouth disease is a severe, highly contagious disease of cattle. It also affects sheep, goats and other cloven-hooved ruminants. According to experts, the disease spreads very fast if not controlled. The Jigawa State chapter of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association (MACBAN), Monday announced that the disease has killed more than 20 cows  in Yola village in Guri Local Governmen Area of the state.

Alhaji Ahmadu Tulu, Chairman of the association in the local government, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Guri. He said more than 1,000 cows were infected with the disease after its outbreak in January. “Since the outbreak of this disease two months ago, over 20 cows have died and over 1,000 are infected,” Tulu said. The chairman listed the symptoms of the disease to include fever, weight loss, loss of appetite, lameness, drop in milk production and blisters in the mouth and on feet. He noted that the epidemic had brought untold hardship to herdsmen who depended on cattle breeding as their means of livelihood.

Treatment There is no specific treatment for the disease but the conventional method of treating infected animals mainly involves the use of antibiotics, flunixin meglumine and mild disinfectants. Alhaji Kabiru Garki, the Head of Agriculture Department, Guri Local Governmen Area of Jigawa state, while confirming the outbreak, said the council had already acquired vaccines and other essential drugs to treat more than 1,500 cows that might be affected by the disease. “As we speak, our team of veterinary doctors is already in Yola to treat all the affected cows. Experts believe regular vaccination of the animals is crucial for the prevention of the disease. (NAN)


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