AFRICA – Foot and mouth disease (FMD) is on the rise in Africa, from southern regions to a new Algerian outbreak in the north this week, according to official disease surveillance reports.
World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) updates also show flare-ups in Botswana and Zimbabwe, frequently in areas where wild animals come in close contact with grazed cattle.
Biosecurity is frequently breached on communal grazing and watering areas, says the OIE.
South Africa and Zimbabwe have been confirmed with serotype SAT2. Official Laboratory reports have not yet confirmed Botswana’s serotype.
Algeria’s serotype is O, confirmed in sheep and cattle, as opposed to purely cattle elsewhere. Algerian vaccinations totalled over 4,500 sheep, cattle and goats across the northern districts of El Bayadh and El Oued, according to government sources.
A spokesperson said: “The animals showed the following clinical signs: stomatitis, lameness, blisters in a very small number of sheep on gums and on interdigital spaces. No deaths have been reported; the morbidity rate is about 5.96 per cent”.
Last week, oral lesions alerted slaughterers in Botswana during a standard clinical abattoir inspection.
Veterinary services traced the outbreak to farm of origin where 19 further cattle were identified with clinical signs “similar to those of FMD”.
Zimbabwe’s outbreak is affecting the midlands, where two reports have each detailed around 27,000 vaccinations in the Masvingo region.
Officials have reviewed the serotype, changing from SAT 1 to SAT 2 and say new outbreaks are “a result of illegal movement of cattle from infected areas”.
Outlining control measures, a spokesperson said: “Weekly inspection of the affected premises and of all properties within a 20-km-radius zone is ongoing.
“A total of 35 farms and dip tanks, including 8 farms in Matebeleland South province that are within the 20-km-radius intensive surveillance zone, were inspected.
“No new outbreaks of infection were detected but a total of 164 new cases were seen in the affected cattle herds at the three outbreaks. The whole district of Mwenezi is still under quarantine.”
South African cases centre in the north east, around Swaziland, within foot and mouth disease protected areas.
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