Thursday, June 24, 2010


A ProMED-mail post

ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: 22 Jun 2010
Source: New Vision [edited]

Anthrax killed hippos - experts
Tests done at the Central Veterinary Laboratory in Entebbe have
confirmed that anthrax killed the 30 hippos in Queen Elizabeth National Park.

Dr. Nicholas Kauta, a commissioner in the agriculture ministry, on
Friday [18 Jun 2010] said the disease affects all warm blooded
animals except birds. He said animals that feast on carcasses of
infected hippos can catch the disease. The agriculture state
minister, Col. Bright Rwamirama, with a team of doctors from the
ministry, on Friday found a dead hippo in the middle of Lake George.

The minister called for quick intervention, saying this was the 3rd
time hippos were dying of anthrax in the national park. Since the
national park lost about 300 hippos about 6 years ago, the population
of hippos had multiplied to 5500.

Rwamirama observed that if necessary, the hippos should be moved
elsewhere to enable spraying of the affected areas. He observed that
the excavators used to bury the animals are expensive and that the
method used was risky.

The minister explained that an excavator is hired at sh. 1m [451 USD]
to bury one hippo. Rwamirama advised cattle-keepers in the
neighbouring areas not to graze their animals in the park to avoid
catching the disease.

[Byline: Abdulkarim Ssengendo]

Communicated by:

[This report is both a confirmation and a report on additional
deaths; the total is higher than previously. A very similar report
can be seen at:

- Mod.MHJ]

Date: 23 Jun 2010
Source: EFE [edited]

Thirty hippos die in outbreak of Anthrax
At least 30 hippos have died from anthrax in Queen Elizabeth National
Park, a wildlife reserve in western Uganda, but local authorities say
they have managed to contain the outbreak.

According to Lillian Nsubuga, communications officer of the Uganda
Wildlife Authority, which oversees all activities in nature reserves,
all the hippos dead were buried in the park after being examined by
veterinary and medical public health sector.

The virulent outbreak of anthrax has killed between 10 and 15 elephants.

"This is the 2nd outbreak of anthrax that is recorded in Queen
Elizabeth National Park, where a similar outbreak in 2004 left a
balance of 300 hippos dead. This time we have not had many problems
because we knew that the disease was, in contrast to the outbreak 6
years ago, when we had no idea of what we faced," Nsubuga said.

The operators of the Ugandan tourism industry have expressed fears
that the outbreak of anthrax could negatively affect their business
to keep out visitors from home because the bacteria that causes it
can also infect humans. Nsubuga made clear, however, that the remains
of all dead animals from anthrax has already been buried and that the
tourism industry has nothing to fear.

This is high season for tourists who come to Uganda from Europe, USA
and other world regions. "This is high season for all our
destinations and, so far, we have not had any negative effects," said
Nsubuga, who stressed that the National Park Queen Elizabeth,
Murchison Falls and the Bwindi Impenetrable (famous for its mountain
gorillas) and Kibale Forest "have already received many visitors."

Queen Elizabeth National Park is famous for its variety of wildlife
and the easy access of tourists to its natural habitat.

The reserve, called by that name in honor of Queen Elizabeth II of
England, was one of the awards to Prince Charles in November 2007,
when he accompanied his mother to the Summit of Heads of State and
Government of the Commonwealth meeting in Kampala.

Communicated by:

[As elephants are very large animals and hard to miss the Ugandan
wildlife authorities should know how many have died. Unfortunately
elephant meat is very popular so we can assume that we may shortly
see some human cases in Western Europe, if not in Kampala. Note the
recent post on 'bushmeat' sales outside of Africa; 20100621.2079,
20040905.2484, and 20000411.0514] - Mod.MHJ]

[Information on Queen Elizabeth National Park is available from
. Maps of the
park and the Kazinga Channel are available from

The HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive map of Uganda is available at
. - Mod.SH]

[see also:
Anthrax, hippopotamus - Uganda (02): (QENP) 20100618.2053
Anthrax, hippopotamus - Uganda: (QENP) susp 20100615.2006
Anthrax, hippopotamus - Uganda: 2004-2005, cannibalism blamed 20091021.3624
Anthrax, human, wildlife - Uganda (02): (BS) unresolved 20090223.0758
Anthrax, human, wildlife - Uganda: (BS) susp 20090219.0690
Anthrax, zebras - Uganda (Lake Mburo Natl. Park) 20050427.1176
Anthrax, hippopotamus - Uganda (04) 20050308.0690
Anthrax, hippopotamus - Uganda (03) 20050225.0592
Anthrax, hippopotamus - Uganda (02) 20050221.0559
Anthrax, hippopotamus - Uganda 20050211.0470
Anthrax, hippopotamus, human - Uganda (04) 20041217.3327
Anthrax, hippopotamus, human - Uganda (03) 20041215.3317
Anthrax, hippopotamus, human - Uganda (02) 20041214.3308
Anthrax, wildlife - Uganda (NE): susp 20041209.3263
Anthrax, hippopotamus, human - Uganda 20041109.3027
Undiagnosed deaths, hippopotamus - Uganda: Anthrax conf. 20041001.2710
Anthrax, bovine - Uganda (Hoima) 20030218.0422]

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