Anthrax outbreak at South Sudanese refugee camp in Uganda

Saturday April 7 2018

Newly arrived refugees from South Sudan sell

Newly arrived refugees from South Sudan sell food at the Ngomoromo border post, in Uganda, on April 10, 2017. Uganda is hosting more than one million South Sudanese refugees. PHOTO FILE | AFP 

By AGGREY OMBOKI
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A South Sudanese refugee has died from anthrax at a refugee camp in northwestern Uganda, a local official said on Friday.

Veterinary officer in Arua District, Mr Willy Nguma, said two others are receiving treatment.

He said blood samples from the three tested positive of anthrax.

“More people are at risk of contracting this deadly disease because many of them share houses with their livestock," Mr Nguma said.

Uganda is hosting more than one million South Sudanese who fleeing a raging civil war that has left tens of thousands dead and millions others internally displaced.

Mr Nguma called for screening of animals too at the border.

"The main problem is that when these refugees cross the Ugandan border, the humanitarian agencies only screen human beings and ignore the animals, which is very dangerous," he said.

He asked farmers in the area to report any animal deaths, especially in cases where blood oozes from the nostrils and anus of the mammals.

Anthrax is a caused by the Bacillus anthracis bacterial and mainly affects animals especially herbivores.

Humans can become infected through contact with or consumption of an infected animal.