Quarantine declared as foot and mouth disease hits Elgon sub region

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By Walukhu Simon Peter, STEPFM and Weswa Ronnie, ELGON FM, Mbale

Mbale, Uganda – A quarantine has been declared in the eastern districts of Mbale and Sironko following an outbreak of the foot and mouth disease (FMD) in the Elgon sub region.

The disease was first reported in the districts of Kapchorwa, Bulambuli, Sironko, Bududa and Manafwa and now has spread to Mbale district leaving over 100 animals dead.

The Sironko district veterinary officer, Dr. Charles Peter Okori said FMD has mostly affected the sub counties of Busiita, Buhugu, Bumalimba, Bumasifa, Zesui and Budadiri town council.

Okori blamed the fast spread of the disease on quark veterinary doctors and also the traders who smuggle sick animals and take them to areas that do not have the disease.

He said that they have banned the trading of animals from Kapchorwa to Sironko such that they can contain the spread of the disease which he said threatens over 10,000 animals in the area.

 The Mbale district veterinary officer Dr. Philip Wakimwere also announced the immediate ban on livestock movement and its products in his September 3rd letter to the Chief Administrative Officer, Mbale and the different law enforcement organs of the district.

Wakimwere named the areas where FMD had broken out as Kibudi village, Bulweta Parish, Bukande subcounty; Shirakaru village, Busambi parish, Bubombi subcounty; and Lwandera village, Bukikali parish, Lwasso sub county.

‘Movement of cattle, goats, sheep, pigs and their products into, out of and through the said sub counties is prohibited,” the letter says.

Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a severe, highly contagious viral disease. The FMD virus causes illness in cows, pigs, sheep, goats, deer, and other animals with divided hooves. .

The disease spreads very quickly if not controlled. Infected animals present with swollen hooves and wounds on the mouth loss of weight and drooling.

Foot-and-mouth disease (also called hoof-and-mouth disease), which affects cattle, sheep, and swine is often confused with  Hand, foot, and mouth disease which affects humans. However, the two diseases are caused by different viruses and are not related. Humans do not get the animal disease, and animals do not get the human disease.

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