Health & Fitness

Cholera in Mbale as swine fever hits Kampala


Cholera has so far killed 13 people in Mbale municipality since November last year.

According to Mbale district health officer, Dr John Baptist Waniaye, about 89 patients are currently admitted at Namatala and Namanyonyi camps.

The officials have meanwhile closed down Vienna Clinic after a cholera patient died from the clinic.

Waniaye accuses the clinic of admitting two cholera patients instead of referring them to isolated camps in the district.

Vienna Clinic director, Boaz Aruho, insists the patient died on arrival and was not admitted there.

Swine fever in Kampala

While Mbale battles Cholera, a swine fever has broken out in Kampala.

Kampala Capital City Authority [KCCA] in a statement says the highly contagious viral pig disease African Swine Fever (ASF) has been reported in 2 parishes of Lubaga Division and is feared to have spread to other Divisions.

A survey is on-going in Kampala to establish the extent of the problem and samples will be taken to confirm the cases, the authority said.

The disease causes high pig mortality of up to 100% with significant economic loss to the pig industry.

Although the disease poses no danger to human health, it has serious consequences for commercial or smallholder production and potentially crippling socio-economic consequences for urban farmer livelihoods.

African swine fever is a highly contagious haemorrhagic disease of domestic and wild pigs of all ages and spreads rapidly.

Wild pigs are the known reservoirs of the disease and transmission to domestic pigs is from a bite from soft ticks.

Transmission of the disease is by pigs eating infected pork or pork products; contact with infected pigs or their faeces or body fluids or contact with contaminated clothing and foot ware of animal attendants/ visitors.

The disease is characterized by high fever, loss of appetite, bleeding under the skin and internal organs, and death occurs within 2-10 days.

Mortality rates may be as high as 100%.  Eradication is by destruction of infected and in–contact animals, and proper disposal of carcasses.

Control of pig and pork movement from and to infected areas is recommended to prevent further spread of the disease.

The disease has no known treatment or vaccine and the best preventive measure is for farmers to remain alert and respect enforced quarantines, the statement continues.

Pigs that recover from the disease continue shedding the virus and maintain it on the farm and as soon as new stock is brought in, the cycle begins again.

Many common disinfectants are not effective against this virus except JIK (Sodium Hypochlorite) which is specifically approved for African swine fever.

“Premises must be thoroughly disinfected in case of a suspected outbreak and placement of foot baths at the farm entrance and limiting visitors are recommended.”

“All suspected cases should be reported immediately to the KCCA Veterinary/production offices to allow prompt response. Farmers are advised to destroy and dispose of all infected animals and not to sell them for meat,” the authority directed.

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