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Kenya’s deadliest goat disease costing nearly Sh1/4m per 100 goats in Turkana

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By George Munene

Contagious Caprine Pleuropneumonia (CCPP), a highly infectious disease of the respiratory tract, is the deadliest goat disease in arid and semi-arid regions, costing pastoralists millions of shillings over years and affecting goats throughout Kenya.

The annual costs of CCP in the arid regions is extremely high, with most goats in Kenya in the hands of pastoralists. One study of the economic impact of CCPP on a monitored herd of 100 goats in Turkana County counted the losses as Sh219,132 in just that one herd in a year. (

With a mortality of 94 per cent if left untreated, medical treatment of the disease is available. But even after treatment, at least half of goats still succumb to it, said Fulgence Mwarongo, the Voi sub county veterinary officer. Moreover, its complete elimination from a herd is difficult and treated animals can still be potential carriers of the disease.

Vaccinating goats at least once every year is the only sure way to protect them from CCPP, he said.

Although goats are its primary host, on rare occasion it also affects sheep, in flocks and herds where they are mixed in with goats. However, CCPP cannot be transmitted to human beings.

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It is transmitted by the Mycoplasma F38 and Mycoplasma mycoides capri bacteria.

Mcharo Mbogho a galla goat farmer in Taita Taveta has borne its effects first-hand having lost close to 200 goats to the disease in 2017 when his herd came into contact with a neighbour’s infected goats. The disease causes death within one to three weeks after infection, but can be prevented.


  • Breathing difficulties/ choked breathing
  • Weakness and lethargy
  • Coughing
  • Foamy discharge from the nose
  • Loss of appetite, goats will not even drink water
  • Long stringy saliva
  • Lungs become edematous (swollen)


  • Bi annual vaccinations against CCPP
  • Quarantining infected animals
  • Incubate new goats for at least six to ten days and vaccinate them before introducing them to your herd
  • If you are able, fence off your grazing area to avoid your goats coming into contact with others
  • Slaughter infected or exposed animals
  • Have a clean shed and disinfect it regularly
  • Do not overpopulate goats in a small area

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  2. A combination of dihydrastreptomycin sulphate (250 mg/ml) and penicillin G procaine (200,000 iu/mI)

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