November 21, 2002

Anthrax outbreak

While Zambia gears up for the expected rush of tourists for the solar eclipse on December 4, an anthrax outbreak has been reported in the eclipse zone in the western province.

Four people have died and 20 have been admitted to hospital in the past two weeks after being infected by the deadly cattle disease in Mwandi near Shang 'ombo. Central board of health spokesman Victor Mukonka said they were trying to get additional veterinary experts to the area to try and contain the outbreak but expressed concern that more lives could be lost if remedial measures weren't put in place soon.

The disease has already spread from Mwandi to the neighbouring Senanga. The veterinary department has since issued a ban preventing people from slaughtering and eating livestock in the area or from moving them to other areas. They have also embarked on a compulsory vaccination exercise.

The western province is considered one of the best viewing points for the solar eclipse and the country is expecting a flood of tourists to the region. (African Eye News Service, Nelspruit)

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