President of the Association of Residents Doctors Kaduna branch, Dr. Rufai Mahmood-Usman, has urged the federal and state governments to form an emergency reaction team to combat the anthrax infection.
He stated this in an interview with newsmen on Thursday in Kaduna.
He proposed that the reaction team be recruited from the Department of Veterinary Medicine, with multidisciplinary experts traveling over the country to create sensitization and awareness in anthrax cases and preventive measures.
He stated that the government must act promptly to prevent an outbreak or epidemic.
According to him, all three levels of government should begin anthrax illness training and workshop programs for health care workers and veterinary practitioners.
He said “following the reported case of anthrax disease confirmed and reported from a farm in Niger state along Abuja-Kaduna express way, it is not a good sign for the country. Few cases were reported from Ghana, a neighboring country some weeks ago.
” We are expecting the government to be more cautious and proactive on the primary preventive measures of anthrax disease.
Dr Usman said legislative and administrative measures should be implemented to address the problem with immediate effect.
He went on to say that the government should have a strong political will to devise ways and deploy professionals to combat this national menace.
Anthrax, according to Mahmood-Usman, is a potentially fatal zoonotic illness produced by the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus Anthracis. Gram-positive bacteria exist.
He added that the clinical presentation depends on the type of infection.
“Anthrax disease has incubation periods from one to seven days; GIA 15 days, inhalation seven days and Cutaneous from one to seven days”.
He listed the three types of anthrax infection to include: Gastrointestinal anthrax- via ingestion of the meat or hide skin, Inhalational- inhaled the dormant spore and Cutaneous anthrax- contact with the animal’s skin or infected wounds/ulcers.
Mahmood-Usman explained further that there is also the infection cycle known as Bacillus anthracis.
He listed the symptoms to include, low grade fever, malaise, headache, lymph node enlargement, painless papule on the face.
Others are sore throat dysphasia hoarseness of voice neck swelling.
Then respiratory distress, chest pain contusion, syncope.
Severest form included meningitis, sepsis, respiratory failure.
According to him, the preventive measures for anthrax include:using Infection Prevention and Control (IPC), Antibiotics (drugs), sterilisation of hair, wool, hides of animals before processing, work place environmental control measures, appropriate use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) etc.