KAMPALA, April 6 (Xinhua) -- Anthrax has broken out at a refugee camp in the northwestern Ugandan district of Arua, killing one person and leaving two others hospitalized, a local official said Friday.
Willy Nguma, the veterinary officer in Arua district, told Xinhua that blood samples taken from three people at a refugee settlement camp in Arua have tested positive for anthrax.
"Two other victims are still undergoing treatment as more people are at the risk of contracting this deadly disease because many of them are sharing houses with animals," Nguma said.
South Sudanese refugees who fled the fighting at home live in the camp.
"The challenge is that when these refugees cross to Uganda, the humanitarian agencies only screen human beings and ignore animals, which is very dangerous," Nguma said.
He advised farmers in the area to report any suspected death of animals where there are signs of blood oozing from the nostrils and anus.
More than 15 animals have died as a result of anthrax, Nguma said.
An Anthrax outbreak was last reported in Uganda in 2016. The authorities in the western district of Ntungamo were forced to close all livestock markets in the area to prevent the spread of the disease.
Anthrax is a bacterial disease caused by Bacillus anthracis. According to the World Health Organization, the disease primarily affects herbivorous mammals, although other mammals and some birds have been known to contract it. Humans generally acquire the disease from infected animals or as a result of exposure to contaminated animal products.