Word of the Week (116): NAGANA (probability 17769), by David Sutton

NAGANA or NGANA, from the Zulu nakane, is a tropical disease affecting cattle. It is carried by the tsetse fly, unlike REDWATER, also known as BABESIASIS or BABESIOSIS, which is carried by a tick BABESIA. These are unlikely to affect your livestock in this country, but that doesn't mean that cattle and sheep here don't have plenty of other problems. Perhaps your sheep will suffer from ORF, a viral infection, or GID, also known as STURDY or WATERBRAIN, which is caused by a bladderworm in the brain. Perhaps they will get SCRAPIE, a degenerative disease which causes acute itching, making the sheep rub itself against trees. Then there is BRAXY, a bacterial condition applied loosely to various diseases of sheep, or perhaps they will get wounds or open sores which become infested with FLYSTRIKE.

Cattle may suffer from MURRAIN (also spelt MURREN, MURRIN or MURRION), a general word for a cattle plague that now usually refers to foot-and-mouth disease. In moorland districts they may develop MOORILL, a disease marked by haemoglobin in the urine. Or perhaps they may become MAWBOUND, which means constipated by impaction of the rumen.

Both sheep and cattle may suffer from HOOVE, a disease marked by distension of the abdomen with gas, in which case they are said to be HOOVEN or HOVEN; note that HOOVE is also a Spenserian verb meaning to hover or loiter. And sheep, cattle and goats as well may get HEARTWATER, another tick-borne viral disease that causes accumulation of fluid in the pericardium.

And I haven't even mentioned ANTHRAX...


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