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Malawi stems hippos deaths

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By Audrey Kapalamula:

SPREAD THE DISEASE—Hippos

The Department of Parks and Wildlife has not recorded any case of anthrax, meaning that progress is being made after 48 hippos have died since the outbreak was reported in September 2018.

The department’s director, Brighton Kumchedwa, attributed the development to persistent rainfall, among other reasons.

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“What people should know about anthrax is that it breaks out during the hot and dry season. Once rains start, we expect the occurrence of anthrax to decline.

“So, the country has been receiving rains and this year seems to be good, which means water in the affected areas has submerged anthrax, making it less effective,” he said.

Kumchedwa said they have been monitoring the Shire River to quickly remove and treat carcasses found floating while conducting awareness campaigns in the surrounding areas.

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Despite the decline he said the ban on the sale and consumption of bush meat is still effective in the Southern Region.

The World Health Organisation says contact with anthrax can cause severe illness in human beings and animals.

Recently, four people were reported dead and 70 hospitalised in Songwe Region in Tanzania, after suffering from anthrax, which is caused by bacteria.

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