By Alex Byakatonda
KABALE: The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, has confirmed an outbreak of Peste des petits ruminants-PPR disease in Kabale District.
PPR, also called ‘Goat Plague’, is an acute, highly contagious and transboundary viral disease that can affect goats and sheep.
It is severe, fast-spreading and causes high morbidity and mortality among the affected animals.
According to the Acting Kabale district veterinary officer, Dr Jimmy Obwooya, an animal infected with PPR, presents with signs include, sudden onset of depression, fever, discharge from the eyes and nose, which can form a crust, sores in the mouth, breathing difficult and forcing eyes shut, coughing, very bad smelling breath, diarrhea and death.
He says that the “goat plague virus is excreted in bodily fluids of infected animals especially tears, mucus from the nose, coughs and it can spread by close contact, and especially by airborne droplets of the virus.
An infected animal can die between 3 to 8 days depending on its immunity.
Dr Obwooya adds that PPR disease was confirmed in the district, after one of the samples picked from 12 animals slaughtered at Kabale municipal abattoir two weeks ago, and taken to the National Animal Disease Diagnostics and Epidemiology Centre -NADDEC for examination, turned positive.
He is now calling on the farmers to be on a high alert and inform veterinary doctors in their areas, once their animals present with any of the signs of the disease.
Dr Obwooya also says that most sheep and goats that show signs of the disease will die, although cattle and pigs can also be infected, but do not show signs of disease.
He adds that they are now engaging with officials in the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, to provide the district with vaccines to vaccinate all animals against the disease.