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Red alert as foot and mouth disease breaks out in South Africa

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[FILES] Food and Mouth disease is an infectious, and sometimes fatal viral disease that affects sheep, goat, pig, cattle and other bovid.<br />PHOTO: inhabitat.com

Following the outbreak of Food and Mouth Disease in South Africa, the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS) has placed its officers on red alert to avoid its spread into Nigeria.

A statement by the agency implored officers of the NAQS at all ports of entry to watch out for live cloven-hooved animals and associated raw products that may be imported from South Africa and contiguous countries.

It said: “They are on high alert to minimise the risk of the entry of infected animals, or contaminated items of animal origin from the Southern Africa axis. They are under instruction to quarantine any animal that could reasonably be deemed to be a suspect carrier.”

The statement explained that Food and Mouth disease is an infectious, and sometimes fatal viral disease that affects sheep, goat, pig, cattle and other bovid.

According to them, the clinical symptoms of the disease are high fever that may last between two and six days, including; blisters inside the mouth which may lead to excessive secretion of stringy and foamy saliva.

Other symptoms include drooling and blisters on the feet, which may eventually rupture and cripple the animal.

The viral disease, it explains takes a huge economic toll on animal farming. It is highly infectious, and could devastate herds and cause serious losses to livestock farmers.

The statement that the disease can spread by infected animals through contaminated feed, farming equipment, vehicles and wild and domesticated predators.

It urged the general public to contact the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service directly via email: contact@naqs.gov.ng, or call +234 809 133 3385, +234 807 777 8943.


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