By Vincent Kaguta
Suspected heartwater disease has reportedly killed 10 head of cattle in Omiya Anyima west sub-county in Kitgum district.
Heart-water, according to the US National Library of Medicine, is a frequently fatal tick-borne disease of ruminants caused by Cowdria ruminantium. In domestic ruminants the incubation period varies considerably and depends on the route of infection, virulence of the isolate and amount of infective material administered.
According to the livestock farmers, their animals began presenting with the signs and symptoms similar to heartwater disease early this year. The library says nervous symptoms are frequently seen in animals affected by the peracute and acute forms of heartwater and can easily be confused with similar signs caused by infectious conditions, toxic plants, acaricide and heavy metal poisonings.
Sub-county chairperson Julius Peter Otto on Wednesday said his office received reports that the affected areas include Palameny and Palwo parishes.
Meanwhile, Kitgum district veterinary officer Alfred Kinyera said the animals died of the disease because farmers failed to spray their cattle against ticks.
He, however, asked the farmers to routinely spray their cattle to mitigate the disease’s outbreak.