Kenya is on high alert to prevent a looming rinderpest outbreak in the country, a senior official said on Friday.

Jackson Nkoroi, a Senior Assistant Director of Veterinary Services said the disease could recur despite efforts to contain it since its eradication in the country in 2010.

“We are conducting routine visits to examine livestock mainly in the pastoral areas of Kenya in collaboration with farmers in readiness for any outbreak,” Nkoroi told Xinhua during a recent interview in eastern Kenya’s eastern county of Meru

He said that despite the country intensifying the war that eradicated rinderpest in the country in 2010, efforts have been put in place to report cases of new outbreak given that Kenya borders the disease hotspots like Somali.

Rinderpest is a highly contagious and deadly disease affecting cattle and other cloven-hoofed animals like oxen and sheep, and some wildlife species.

In Kenya, the disease was confirmed in mid 1980s following repeated outbreaks in

West Pokot and Marsabit Counties located in the semi arid northern stretches of the country.

Its symptoms in cattle, goats and sheep include fever, erosive lesions in the mouth, discharge from the nose and eyes, profuse diarrhea, and dehydration, often leading to death.

Nkoroi noted that with the help of Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the Inter-African Bureau for Animal Resources of African Union (AU/IBAR) robust interventions had led to rinderpest eradication in Kenya.

He added that rinderpest is one of the world’s deadliest livestock diseases that is capable of clearing 90 percent of livestock between one to fifteen days after detection.

“The disease was eradicated and a certificate issued to us to that effect by the World Organization for Animal Health,” said Nkoroi.

He emphasized the government remained alert and had put measures in place to help report any new outbreak in the pastoral regions.

Nkoroi said that eradication measures had earlier succeeded due to coordinated application conventional control measures, that included mass vaccination coupled with improved hygiene.

Kenya is this year celebrating eight years since rinderpest was eradicated in the country. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh