Foot and mouth disease outbreak in Kween
Kween district is reportedly fighting to contain foot and mouth disease - a highly contagious disease that affects cattle, goats, sheep and pigs. Residents attribute the outbreak to herds of cattle of the Pokot from the neighbouring districts.
Stephen Kiplangat, a resident, says the first batch of the animals that entered the district recently were sick and all the carcasses of the cattle that died were not buried. “The meat was sold to the unsuspecting public,” Kiplangat says.
The Pokot, a nomadic tribe in north-eastern Uganda and north-western Kenya, own large herds of cattle and have been sighted in Ngenge and Kiriki sub-counties.
According to Kiplangat, even though people were discouraged from eating the meat, some could not resist the temptation since some cattle keepers were offering the carcasses for free.
Symptoms of the disease include shivering, high temperature, tender and sore feet, reduced milk yield and blisters on the feet, among others.
The district veterinary officer has order that movement of cattle be restricted even within Kween. Though it is believed that the disease is not contagious to humans, they can spread it by carrying the virus on their clothes and body.