Goat plague hits Kenya

Goat plague hits Kenya  A disease that afflicted northwestern Kenya last year has killed about 100,000 goats and sheep in Turkana district of the country.

The disease, peste des petits ruminants, also called goat plague, is not common in Kenya. It first came up in Turkana in March 2006 and was diagnosed in July last year, said George Omori, a veterinary officer in charge of Turkana. It has now affected the entire district. "Most pastoralists in these areas are now desperate and will require restocking,' said Omori.

This has hit hard the herders in the district who have been reeling in the aftermath of a drought in 2005, which claimed several stocks. Cases of the disease are also suspected in Uganda, Sudan and Ethiopia.

Symptoms of the disease include lassitude, fever, nasal discharge, oral lesions and diarrhoea. The disease has a mortality rate of 90 per cent.