KENNETH CHAWINGA, Kapiri Mposhi
THE Department of Veterinary Services in Kapiri Mposhi has reported an outbreak of East Coast Fever (ECF) in Chipepo, Chilumba, Kato and Musosoloke veterinary camps. It is estimated that 40,000 head of cattle from an estimated 71,000 cattle in the district are at risk of acquiring the tick-borne disease.
ECF is a lethal disease of cattle caused by the blood parasite (Theileria parva) and transmitted by the brown ear tick (Rhipicephalus appendiculatus). The disease acquired its name from the east coast of Africa where it was first reported. ECF, locally known as denkete, is economically the most worrying tick-borne disease in Zambia. The disease is also erroneously referred to as corridor disease, which in strict sense occurs when buffalo-derived causative agent is transmitted to cattle. The name corridor comes from the fact that it was first identified in South Africa in the corridor that used to exist between the Hluhluwe and Umfolozi game reserves in KwaZulu-Natal. That was a more severe form of tick-borne disease than the one experienced in Zambia. Another form, called January disease only occurs in the winter period in Zimbabwe.
East Coast Fever symptoms in cattle
The first clinical sign of ECF is a swelling of the lymph glands, usually the parotid lymph glands (located just beneath the ear). The ear is the preferred feeding site of the tick. This is followed by a swelling of other lymph glands in front of the upper fore-limb and CLICK TO READ MORE