By Agnes Nworie
In a bid to prevent outbreak of Lassa fever in Ebonyi state, the state government has charged all animal pet owners in the state to take them for medical checks.
The state commissioner for Agriculture and natural resources chief Ogodoali Nomeh gave the charge while speaking with newsmen on ways to further prevent outbreak of diseases in the state.
Chief Nomeh also admonished residents who have animals as pets to distance themselves from them, saying they could be carriers of Lassa fever or other dangerous diseases.
He opined that the social distancing measure also applicable to animal pets is a major step to be taken to prevent the possible transmission of Coronavirus, Lassa fever and related diseases from animals to man.
Ogodoali who said that his office dispatched veterinary doctors in the ministry to all animal markets in the state to check animals especially the ones to be slaughtered for meat, revealed that his office had in 2017 discovered cats with laser fever in Izzi Local Government Area of the state.
He, however, pleaded with those who have animals to take them for a check-up and advised that they should not be too attached to them at this period of COVID-19.
Chief Ogodoali said, “We are doing what we can do and we have dispatched all our veterinary investigation team because what attacks man attacks animals also, and we believe that we have a lot to do. You see this pathological disease, we have dispatched all our veterinary investigation doctors to the field and as I speak they are in every market where they sell animals, they give you sanitization education, train you on how to mitigate the effects of Coronavirus, that’s what we are doing now and our produce department is in all the markets looking for traders who have no knowledge of what is on the ground.”
“We believe that virtually most of the sicknesses we suffer in the country today come from animal, so our veterinary clinics across the state are functional, especially at this time of challenging period. We have to be there and supervise every animal that is about being killed or the ones in families to ensure they don’t have Coronavirus, Lassa fever and related diseases.
“In 2017 when we were treating Lassa fever in Izzi, we discovered that Cats have Lassa fever and I warned the people to kill those Cats and bury them. So animals can contact these sicknesses and share it among men. For those who have pets, we advise them to keep distance from them at this challenging period we are in,” he said.