Published Date: 2012-01-10 12:39:45
Subject: PRO/EAFR> Anthrax, Wildlife - Zimbabwe: Lower Zambezi Valley
Archive Number: 20120110.239575
ANTHRAX, WILDLIFE - ZIMBABWE: LOWER ZAMBEZI VALLEY
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: 8 Jan 2012
Source: All Africa [edited]
More than 165 animals in Mana Pools National Park in the lower Zambezi Valley have died due to an anthrax outbreak over the past few weeks. Parks and Wildlife Management Authority public relations manager Ms Caroline Washaya-Moyo confirmed the deaths of elephants, hippos, buffaloes and kudus.
The most affected are the Chikwenya and Sapi areas, which are located on the shoreline, as well as islands near Mana Pools.
"Our Chinhoyi office has since confirmed the anthrax outbreak following the deaths of the animals in Mana Pools. The authority engaged the vet offices, who later collected samples from hippos for lab testing. The lab test [one test or poor reporting? - Mod.MHJ] confirmed that 88 hippopotami died of anthrax," said Ms Washaya-Moyo.
The cause of the deaths of 45 buffaloes, 30 elephants, and 2 kudus, she said, was yet to be established, but starvation or anthrax was suspected. Ms Washaya-Moyo said the situation was under control.
A veterinary officer in the Department of Veterinary Services (Wildlife), Dr Chris Foggin, also confirmed the outbreak. "A number of animals have died, but we have visited the area, and we sealed it off, and we are burning the carcasses to prevent any further spread, an action well considered now that the lab reports confirmed anthrax as the culprit," said Dr Foggin.
[Byline: Peter Matambanadzo]
ProMED-mail from HealthMap alerts
Date: 9 Jan 2012
Source: El Comercio [in Spanish, trans., edited]
At least 88 hippos have died in the Mana Pools National Park (northern Zimbabwe) from an outbreak of anthrax. "It is also feared that elephants, buffalo and antelope have died, said the national authorities.
"Laboratory tests have confirmed that all these hippos died of anthrax," said a spokeswoman for the National Parks Authority, Flora and Fauna, Caroline Washaya-Moyo.
Deaths [presumably human - Mod.MHJ] occurred after an outbreak of anthrax last month [December 2011] in the northern districts of Mbire and Mount Darwin, where 40 residents received medical care against disease-causing bacteria.
According to the spokesperson, it is suspected that in recent weeks, anthrax has also killed some 45 buffaloes, 30 elephants and 2 antelopes, although this has not yet been laboratory confirmed.
In order to prevent the spread of the outbreak, veterinarians have restricted the movement of animals in Mana Pools, a park popular with South African tourists.
"Many animals have died, but we have visited the area, cordoned off [the affected areas], and we're burning the carcasses to prevent the spread of the disease," said veterinarian Chris Foggin.
Castleview English Longhorns
D-52385 Nideggen, Germany
[The Mana Pools National Park is on the southern bank of the Lower Zambezi and thus abuts the Lower Zambezi National Park. It is a region of the lower Zambezi River in Zimbabwe where the flood plain turns into a broad expanse of lakes after each rainy season. As the lakes gradually dry up and recede, the region attracts many large animals in search of water, making it one of Africa's most renowned game-viewing regions.
Mana means "4" in Shona, in reference to the 4 large permanent pools formed by the meanderings of the middle Zambezi. These 2500 square km of river frontage, islands, sandbanks and pools, flanked by forests of mahogany, wild figs, ebonies and baobabs, is one of the least developed National Parks in Southern Africa. It was saved from a hydro-electric scheme in the early 1980s, which would have seen the flooding of this subsequent World Heritage site. It has the country's largest concentration of hippopotamuses and crocodiles and large dry season mammal populations of elephants and buffaloes.
However, considering the very large numbers of elephants found dead, and remembering the information provided in the November 2011 posting [see 20111117.3392], one must wonder how many of the deaths have followed upon poachers poisoning the waters in various places. And although anthrax has been confirmed in the hippos, did they run one sample, 10 samples, 20 or 40? One should always remember the Scottish Foot Test, where one merely turns over the dead bird or rabbit with one's foot to make the diagnosis. Whatever reservations one might have, this is a significant anthrax epidemic involving both Zimbabwe
Mana Pools National Park
Lower Zambezi National Park: