NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya on Wednesday issued an alert on mouth and
foot disease across the country to help curb its spread.
Obadiah Nyaga, the
director of Veterinary Services in the Ministry of Agriculture,
urged Kenyans to report the outbreak of the contagious viral
infection immediately to the nearest veterinary office for
“The disease was
detected in the country in 2017 where it spread into 26 counties
and has continued to date,” Nyaga said in a statement.
He directed all
livestock traders to obtain a livestock permit from the local
veterinary offices before moving the livestock.
Nyaga noted that the
presence of the disease hinders local and international trade
and movement of livestock.
The disease is
characterized by sores and wounds in the mouth and feet causing
salivation and lameness that results into heavy losses in milk
production, body condition and death especially in young
The disease does not
have a cure but sick livestock are managed through good feeding
and care and treatment of wounds.
Nyaga however blamed
the control of disease to uncontrolled livestock movements due
to drought, cattle rustling and roadside grazing.
vaccination converges has left majority of livestock susceptible
to disease given that there is 60 million cattle, sheep and
goats that require attention,” he added.
He revealed that
they are worried that some of the outbreaks are linked to an
apparent new variant of serotype “O” that has not been detected
in the country but is in circulation in neighboring countries.
“The current vaccine
appears to be unproductive but we are upgrading the vaccine to
match all serotypes in circulation,” he added.
Nyaga said the
government has in the meantime embarked on promoting production
of vaccines that offer longer immunity like the recently
launched oil based vaccines to ease logistics of vaccinations.
He said the
government has also issued guidelines for control measures to be
undertaken by the county governments in their efforts to
effectively control the disease.
He directed farmers
to disinfect contact materials and equipment and dispose
infected carcasses or materials hygienically.