Bauchi State Government has disclosed that butchers, herdsmen and others in the state are being infected with a contagious animal disease known as Brucellosis.
Deputy Director, Veterinary Services, Bauchi State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dr. Istipanus Irimiya disclosed this in an interview with journalists in Bauchi at the weekend.
According to him, 95 butchers out of 224 butchers from Bauchi, Misau and Katagum Local Government areas have so far tested positive to the disease after laboratory screening.
He explained that Brucellosis disease is a contagious disease which is being transmitted from ruminants to humans.
He said that people that are constantly exposed to animals particularly butchers, herdsmen and veterinary personnel and workers are at highest risk of being infected with the disease.
"The disease is transmitted through consumption of unboiled milk, meat, raw meat, blood of the infected animals as well as lack of proper sanitation and hygiene. The symptoms of the disease include high fever, headache, sweating at night, victims at times cannot talk, abortion in pregnant woman," he said.
Dr Irimiya informed that the disease was discovered in the state by Dr Philip Bobu-Igiwe, a student on internship from Centre For Disease Control, Georgia who conducted the study under the umbrella of Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme (NFETLP).
He said that the NFETLP has centres at Ahmadu Bello University Zaria; University of Ibadan and UNN, Nsukka where medical and veterinary doctors carried out research on how to cure animals’ diseases that affect people.
"It was after the test was conducted by the Federal Ministry of Health, with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture on the blood samples of 224 butchers from three abattoirs.
"The Institute then donates 8, 000 dosages of drugs to the patients found infected with the disease and the drugs are distributed free of charge to the affected butchers," He added.
The director said that sensitization and enlightenment campaign would soon be carried out in collaboration with traditional leaders to enlighten people on the dangers of the disease.
The Chairman, Bauchi Butchers Associated of Nigeria, Alhaji Baba Uba commended the government for taking measures to safeguard butchers from the disease as most are ignorant of its existence especially in this part of the country.
He also commended the centre for assisting the patients and urged the patients to observe rules guiding the administration of the drugs.