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Outbreaks of rinderpest in wild and domestic animals in Nigeria
  1. SR Shanthikumar and
  2. MA Atilola
  1. Department of Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis 95616.


Rinderpest, although eradicated from Nigeria in 1974 after the JP15 campaign, was reintroduced into Sokoto state in 1980 and again into Borno state in 1983. The latter outbreak spread rapidly throughout Nigeria and severely reduced the cattle population. An estimated one million cattle were lost. An outbreak occurred at the Maiduguri zoo, in Borno state, in January 1983 and killed 15 elands and six sitatungas. In March 1983, rinderpest appeared in Yankari game reserve in adjoining Bauchi state and caused mortality in several species of wildlife. A total of 207 buffalo, 20 warthog, eight waterbuck and two bushbuck carcases were recovered. Rinderpest did not occur in wildlife in Nigeria after it was eradicated from cattle. In the Nigerian situation, the rinderpest appears to have been transmitted from cattle to wildlife. Vaccination of zoo animals and valuable animals in game reserves, preferably with a killed vaccine, and ring vaccination of livestock around game reserves can help to protect wildlife from rinderpest.

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