FAO, S/Sudanese govt. respond to deadly livestock disease in Jonglei state - The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says it is currently responding to a recent outbreak of Haemorrhagic Septicaemia (HS), a bacterial disease that affects the respiratory system in cattle, in parts of South Sudan where some 2,500 cattle are estimated to have died of the disease in the first two months of 2013.
The affected areas are Twic East, Duk and Bor Counties, three of the 11 counties that make up the Jonglei State in South Sudan.
In a press release issued on Friday and sent to PANA in Khartoum, the FAO quoted top official Dr. Sue Lautze, who just returned from a visit to the affected counties, as saying that “The mortality from HS is very apparent in some cattle camps in Jonglei.”
In January 2013, Dr. Mary Gordon, the Jonglei State Acting Director General of the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, requested FAO’s assistance in responding to an outbreak in Lith payam in Twic East.
FAO responded quickly, mobilising partners and resources, and rallying with 20,000 doses of vaccine to Bor, Twic East and Duk Counties.
The release pointed out that in February; FAO supplied an additional 60,000 doses of vaccine as well 600 doses of Oxytetracycline to treat infected cattle.
To date, vaccinators from the State Ministry of Animal Resources and Fisheries, FAO and Veterinarians Sans Frontieres (Germany) have reached more than 50,000 cattle of the 100,000 targeted for vaccination.
It explained that blood samples have been taken from a number of cattle in the three counties, and that the test results will be known next week, before response strategies will be adjusted accordingly.
“FAO predicts that the disease is likely to spread to other areas if not prevented and contained with vaccination and treatment programmes. This will pose a serious threat to household food and nutrition security. FAO is seeking additional funds from donors in order to support its work which is essential for limiting the spread of disease and treating infected cattle.” The FAO release stressed.
The agency explained that once infected, the cattle experiences swelling around the neck and restricted breathing. Infected animals suffer a very high mortality rate if not treated in time, dying within two to three days.
Outbreaks are triggered by a range of events, including extreme weather conditions, migration, or poor nutrition.