by Christiana Gokyo, Jos
The Plateau State Government has debunked the publication in some national dailies and also treading on social media over 1,000 cows that have purportedly died of a strange disease within a space of four days in some villages in Mangu Local Government Area of the state.
Following this report, the state government has made it clear that there was no mass death of over 1,000 cows in the mentioned areas as reported in the stories.
A statement, signed by the Director of Press and Public Affairs to the Governor, Gyang Bere, observed that “It is instructive to note that the risk of contracting human cases of anthrax increases with exposure to infected animals, their meat, or hides.”
The statement says that Governor Caleb Mutfwang has directed the Epidemiology unit of the Ministry of Health and the Veterinary unit of the Ministry of Agriculture to address the issues “with every sense of urgency.”
Members of the public are advised to observe and avoid contact with infected livestock and animal skins as much as possible to avoid contracting the anthrax disease:
It also urged the public to avoid eating meat that has not been properly cooked, and quickly call the attention of the authorities when there is any suspicion of a sick animal or persons.
According to government, “The said the story is far from the truth, as it does not reflect the reality of happenings in the communities mentioned conspicuously in the story, and for the avoidance of doubt, there is no such incident in any part of Mangu Local Government Area.”
“The story is based on hearsay, and there is no credible source that has authenticated the story, which has created tension in the affected communities,” he said.
“In this regard government, therefore, advises the general public, particularly members of the said communities to disregard the misleading story, and assured the people that a team of epidemiologists has been sent to the affected communities on the instruction of the State Governor to ascertain the truth of the story so as to prevent loss of lives.
But it further explained that, “However, there are two suspected cases of anthrax disease in two communities in the state, which the samples have been taken to National Veterinary Research Institute Vom for thorough assessment and further investigation.”
According to the government, while waiting for the outcome, it urged people from the communities mentioned to go about their normal activities and report any strange signs or any unusual activities for swift intervention by the relevant authorities.