CONTAGIOUS

Three cows die of foot and mouth disease in Nyandarua

Over 200 animals have been infected following the outbreak in the last two weeks.

In Summary

• Nyandarua county executive for Agriculture James Kariti has assured livestock farmers that there is no cause for alarm as things have been put under control.

• Authorities have mapped the area and done ring vaccination and 800 cows have so far been vaccinated. 

Subcounty veterinary officer for Ndaragwa Kuria Maina (R) Maina Chege (Kipipiri) Rose Oyolo (Nyandarua county director for veterinary services) Moses Ngigi (Kinangop) and John Kibe (Assistant county director of veterinary services) at Ol Kalou yesterday afternoon
Subcounty veterinary officer for Ndaragwa Kuria Maina (R) Maina Chege (Kipipiri) Rose Oyolo (Nyandarua county director for veterinary services) Moses Ngigi (Kinangop) and John Kibe (Assistant county director of veterinary services) at Ol Kalou yesterday afternoon
Image: NDICHU WAINAINA
John Njega, a farmer at Mugumo, Ol Kalou attending to his cows.
John Njega, a farmer at Mugumo, Ol Kalou attending to his cows.
Image: NDICHU WAINAINA

Three cows have died of foot and mouth disease in Nyandarua county following an outbreak. 

The hardest-hit area is Kiriko village in Kanjuiri ward, where an estimated 200 animals have been infected by the viral disease.

Kanyiriri village in the same ward has also been affected, but the numbers have not been confirmed.

Nyandarua county executive for Agriculture James Kariti has assured livestock farmers that there is no cause for alarm as things have been put under control.

“Through surveillance, we have mapped the area and done ring vaccination where 800 cows have so far been vaccinated,” he said.

This is the second time the disease, said to have originated from the neighbouring Nakuru county, is hitting Nyandarua in the last two months.

In August type O of the disease hit Mirangine and Kinangop subcounties but was reported in time and quickly contained.

The disease, which attacks the mouth, feet and sometimes udder has no cure.

Some types also affect the heart muscles which is the main cause of death in the affected animals.

Nyandarua county director for veterinary services Rose Oyolo said in the last five years, no case of foot and mouth disease has been reported in Nyandarua. 

She said the department has put strategic preventive measures through vaccination to control the spread in case of infection.

Oyolo cited poor farmer turn out during vaccination campaigns, a severe shortage of vaccines and inadequate allocation of funds for disease control as major hurdles. 

“But when you don’t have a vaccine which is the only way of preventing the disease, you have the thing spreading without control. It can be a disaster,” she said.

It is estimated that Nyandarua has 345,000 animals. At least 220,000 animals need to be vaccinated against various diseases for the county to be safe.