An outbreak of an epidemic disease affecting camels has been identified in Northern Kenya, even as Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Willy Bett assured farmers the ailment has been contained.
Bett, who was speaking during the launch of second East Africa Emerging Pandemic Threats Program, however, said the disease has not been classified.
“It is still very early (to tell what kind of disease it is). What I can say is that early detection efforts have confirmed that there is a new disease there and samples have been taken and tests are being conducted at our labs in Kabete,” Bett said.
The minister said earlier tests had ruled it out as being one of the major viral diseases such as Ebola, Corona and Marburg.
East Africa Emerging Pandemic Threats Program is a partnership between United Nations', Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and member states in monitoring diseases.
The Pandemic Threats Program was developed in response to revelation that 75 per cent of all emerging diseases globally are attributed to the ingestion of meat from both domesticated and wild animals.
Its main focus will be to lead early detection efforts and management of new and existing animal diseases.
“About 60 per cent of all human diseases and 75 per cent of all emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic. Most human infections with zoonoses come from livestock. What is even more scary is we live with and feast on these animals,” said the CS.
Zoonoses are diseases that are transmitted from animals to humans —among them SARS, influenza rabies, toxoplasmosis and HIV.
Zoonoses are responsible for 2.4 billion human illnesses and 2.2 million deaths every year. Cattle, poultry, wild birds, bats, dogs, and cats are the most common disease transmitters.
Bett said the Ebola and Corona viruses are the most prevalent of human disease causing micro-organisms picked from animals.