Ten head of cattle in Omiya Anyima West sub-county, Kitgum district, have succumbed to suspected heartwater disease.
Heartwater disease, as described by the US National Library of Medicine, is a frequently fatal tick-borne illness affecting ruminants, caused by Cowdria ruminantium.
Livestock farmers in the area reported that their animals began showing symptoms resembling heartwater disease earlier this year. According to the library, nervous symptoms are common in animals affected by heartwater, which can be mistaken for signs of other infectious diseases, toxic plants, acaricide, or heavy metal poisoning.
Sub-county chairperson Julius Peter Otto stated that affected areas include Palameny and Palwo parishes, based on reports received by his office on Wednesday.
Kitgum district veterinary officer Alfred Kinyera attributed the deaths to the farmers’ failure to regularly spray their cattle against ticks. He urged farmers to implement routine tick control measures to prevent further outbreaks of the disease.