The Bauchi State Government on Sunday said that it has recorded an outbreak of three types of animals and birds diseases in the last six months in some parts of the state.
Bala Lukshi,the Permanent Secretary, Bauchi State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, said this in Bauchi in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
“We recorded what is called Equine influenza. a viral disease. But this species is specific because every species of animal has its own influenza.
“We have Avian influenza which was recorded in 2006 in Nigeria then after which other countries recorded swine influenza for pigs.
“But this year, for the first time we recorded Equine Influenza in six states in Nigeria and Bauchi State happened to be one of the affected states,” Lukshi said.
“We first recorded the disease in Gamawa Local Government and from all indications the disease came through Niger Republic.
“In Gamawa we have livestock market where horses and donkeys are being sold and we believe is the route where this disease came to our state.
“Other affected areas are along the borderline with Niger Republic, but we were able to tackle it,” he said.
According to him, the ministry sent a team of experts who took samples to the National Veterinary Research Institute, Vom, in Plateau and were found positive.
“We treated the affected animals. Fortunately, it is not like Avian Influenza, so we were able to contain the disease and restrict it within the affected areas.
“Specifically, it affects only donkeys, horses and other animals such as Zebra because it is generic and only affects such species.
“We recorded some dead animals but it was very low because the outbreak was reported early and we took proactive action,” Mr Lukshi stressed.
He explained that the mortality rate recorded was low though the morbidity was very high and wide because it spread very fast and affects the performances of horses and other animals.
“It is very dangerous where you have horses for Polo races. Bauchi metropolis is known for and has horses for tournaments especially when it affects the respiratory tracts and other parts.
“The symptoms include oral lesions, blistering, drooling and can cause blisters and sores in the mouth, tongue, muzzle, teats or hooves of horses.
He, therefore, called on horse owners to remain vigilant to the clinical signs of the flu and boost horse’s vaccination if it was given more than six months ago.
“They should isolate new arrivals on their yard’s and those returning from shows or tournaments.”
Mr Lukshi said that the state in the period under review witnessed Avian Influenza (for birds) in Bauchi, Toro and other Local Government Councils.
“We also recorded disease that affects cows, goats and other ruminants, but the morbidity rate was very low because of vaccination exercise conducted against the disease in late 2018.
“We have kept our teams of experts on surveillance at various posts and they were yet to record new cases,” he said.