Low vaccination coverage blamed on Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak

The Government has put health officials and farmers on high alert following outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) across 26 counties.

Nakuru, with at least 21 outbreaks reported so far, leads the list of counties affected.

The outbreak alert notice appears in MyGov, a State-sponsored publication.

Other counties affected are Kiambu, which has recorded seven outbreaks, Garissa and Uasin Gishu (six each), Nairobi (five), Baringo, Machakos and Bomet (four each), Makueni and Trans Nzoia (three each) while Bungoma, Elgeyo Marakwet, Kisumu, Marsabit and Nandi counties recorded two outbreaks each.

Others are Busia, Kakamega, Embu, Kericho, Kwale, Lamu, Meru, Murang’a, Narok, Nyamira, and West Pokoti with each recording one outbreak each.

“Of the 84 reported outbreaks in 2017, FMD virus serotypes identified were O (29 outbreaks), A (11 outbreaks), SATI (18 out breaks) and SAT2 (seven outbreaks).

The highly contagious disease killed at least 15 animals in Ikolomani sub-county from where it spread fast to neighbouring Vihiga County.

Vihiga placed an indefinite quarantine on livestock following an outbreak of the disease last October.

Tested positive

Bungoma County also banned the movement of livestock after a number of cattle tested positive for foot-and-mouth disease.

Low vaccination coverage and uncontrolled movement of livestock due to many factors such as drought, cattle rustling and roadside grazing have been cited as key challenges in efforts to control spread of the disease in the country.