Government warns Malawians of Anthrax

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Malawi Government has warned Malawians of a disease called Anthrax that has killed 33 Hippos in the Shire River and can also affect humans.

In a statement on Thursday, Health Minister Atupele Muluzi said the disease is a serious infection caused by a type of bacteria known as Bacillus anthracis.

“Anthrax can be found naturally in the soil and commonly affects domestic and wild animals around the world. Although it is rare, people get sick with anthrax if they come contact with infected animals or contaminated products,” Muluzi said.

The Minister urged Malawians to immediately go to the nearest health facility for treatment when they observe signs and symptoms of the disease.

“Signs of the signs and symptoms in humans include: Skin blisters that become dark with time, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhoea, general body pains, cough, sore throat, fever and swollen lymph nodes.

“In animals the signs and symptoms are: animal loss appetite and does not feed, high fever, convulsions , staggering, trembling, difficulties in breathing, spontaneous abortions, unexplained sudden death in animals, dead animals ooze blood from body openings and swellings of the neck, chest and shoulders,” he said.

According to the minister, the disease is treatable and curable in both humans and animals and treatment is available and for free from all Government hospitals and health centres.

People can also immediately report to the nearest government authorities such as nearest agricultural extension officer, health surveillance assistants, police officers or any nearest extension health worker when they observe signs.

As preventing and controlling measures, Muluzi has urged Malawians to refrain from grazing domestic animals in infected areas, avoid touching, opening or eating dead wild animals and avoid slaughtering sick animals for consumption.

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