WINDHOEK, June 23 — Namibia has detected an outbreak of lung sickness in the northern Ohangwena region, Agriculture Ministry Chief Veterinary Officer Albertina Shikongo said in a statement Thursday.
According to Shikongo, farmers alerted veterinary officers after observing signs consistent with lung sickness in cattle, with coughing being the red flag.
She said the outbreak investigations carried out by the Windhoek Central Veterinary Laboratory on May 31 confirmed lung sickness in six out of the 71 herds of cattle.
“In Africa, lung sickness is known to cause greater losses in cattle than any other disease because it is highly contagious and with a mortality rate of 50 percent,” Shikongo said.
Lung disease, which affects cattle and water buffalo, is caused by Mycoplasma mycoides subspecies mycoides SC, a type of bacteria that attacks the lungs of susceptible animals.
According to Shikongo, the agriculture ministry has put a complete ban with immediate effect on the movement of live animals around the affected areas until further notice.
She said surveillance teams have been deployed to the region to establish the extent of the outbreak, while vaccination of all cattle at risk against lung sickness is underway. (Xinhua)