By Deborah Osagiede
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture has warned Nigerians against consuming cow skin, popularly known as kpomo, smoked meat and bush meat, over outbreak of Anthrax in some neighboring countries.
A statement signed by the Permanent Secretary of ministry, Dr Ernest Afolabi Umakhihe, said the outbreak was first recorded in northern Ghana bordering Burkina Faso and Togo.
According to the statement, “The disease which has claimed some lives, is a bacterial disease that affects both animals and man, that is a zoonotic disease. Anthrax spores are naturally found in the soil and commonly affect domestic and wild animals. People can get infected with Anthrax spores if they come in contact with infected animals or contaminated animal products. However, Anthrax is not a contagious disease and so, one cannot get it by coming in close contact with an infected person. signs of anthrax are flu- like symptoms such as cough, fever, muscle aches and if not diagnosed and treated early, lead to pneumonia, severe lung problems, difficulty in breathing, shock and death”.
”Being a bacterial disease, it responds to treatment with antibiotics and supportive therapy. The general public is strongly advised to desist from the consumption of hides (kpomo), smoked meat and bush meat as they pose serious risk until the situation is brought under control.”