The threat of Nagana and sleeping sickness in Uganda may increase if two strains of the disease merge along the cattle corridor.
The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries warn that this is a real danger to the country. They say that if the two strains - Gambiese from West Africa and Rhodesiense from Zimbabwe - overlap it may lead to a more lethal form of sleeping sickness.
Dr. Dawson Mbulamberi, an Assistant Commissioner in the Ministry of Health, says treatment options for a merged disease are few and fatalities both among humans and livestock will rise.
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Nicholas Kauta, the Commissioner for Livestock and Entomology, says the threat of the two strains merging is real because of the cattle movements, particularly in eastern and northern Uganda. He says past efforts to vaccinate cattle against Nagana haven't been effective and so there are plans to carry out aerial sprays in tsetse fly infected districts in Uganda.
A report by the UK Department for International Development says African Sleeping Sickness has resurged in eastern and northern Uganda. It says latest estimates suggest that nearly half of the cattle in endemic areas may be carrying sleeping sickness parasites.