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Botswana on high alert over anthrax outbreak

17 Nov 2023, 02:05 GMT+10

GABORONE, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- Health authorities in Botswana on Thursday said the country is on high alert following an outbreak of anthrax in neighboring countries.

"The ministry wishes to inform members of the public that the outbreak did not extend to Botswana," said Christopher Nyanga, a spokesperson of the Ministry of Health, in a statement.

Nyanga said through the Botswana Public Health Institute (BPHI), Botswana has activated its surveillance mechanisms and strengthened its detection and early warning systems, to ensure that the disease does not spread to Botswana, adding that the health, agriculture authorities and other stakeholders have put in place all the necessary precautions and safeguards, to ensure their safety.

Anthrax is a disease largely found in animals and predominantly spread to humans through eating infected animals.

Nyanga said the ministry is optimistic that the possibility of spreading to Botswana and to humans is minimal.

"The public is, however, advised to remain vigilant and avoid touching or eating animals that are found dead," said Nyanga.

Anthrax broke out in Botswana's neighboring Zambia in early November.

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