New foot-and-mouth disease strain spreads from N. Africa: UN

May 2, 2012

A new strain of foot-and-mouth disease has been detected in the Gaza Strip, the UN food agency announced on Wednesday, saying this confirmed fears of a spread following outbreaks in Egypt and Libya.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Rome said an outbreak of the SAT2 strain had been found in Rafah in the southern part of Gaza Strip on the border with Egypt and it was sending 20,000 vaccine doses immediately.

"If FMD SAT2 reaches deeper into the Middle East it could spread throughout vast areas, threatening the Gulf countries -- even southern and eastern Europe, and perhaps beyond," said Juan Lubroth, FAO's chief veterinary officer.

Lubroth said that vaccines against the SAT2 virus were in short supply and that the immediate priority should be to limit the movement of animals to prevent the highly infectious disease from spreading further.

The FAO said movement of animals from the through the Sinai Peninsula into the Gaza Strip were considered high risk. Foot-and-mouth spreads through the saliva of sick animals and can be passed on by traders at markets.

The agency said it would send an extra 40,000 to Gaza as soon as possible and was negotiating with producers "in the event of further spread of foot-and-mouth disease and a worsening of the current disease."

It said Israel had already implemented a targeted vaccination programme.

FMD affects cows, sheep and goats and has a major negative impact on meat and milk production. It does not pose a direct risk to human health but can cause higher rates of mortality among pregnant and young animals.

Explore further: UN agency warns on mutant bird flu in China, Vietnam

Related Stories

UN agency warns on mutant bird flu in China, Vietnam

August 29, 2011

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) on Monday warned about a new mutant strain of the deadly bird flu H5N1 virus in China and Vietnam, saying there could be a "major resurgence" of the disease.

Faulty vaccine caused foot-and-mouth outbreak: Paraguay

November 1, 2011

A botched vaccine intended to protect Paraguay's livestock against foot-and-mouth disease was responsible for transmitting the ailment to hundreds of animals that later had to be destroyed, the government said Tuesday.

Paraguay confirms new foot-and-mouth outbreak

January 3, 2012

Major beef exporter Paraguay confirmed a new outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease Tuesday in the north of the country, four days after lifting a state of emergency imposed in the region in September.

Recommended for you

Monkeys in Asia harbor virus from humans, other species

November 19, 2015

When it comes to spreading viruses, bats are thought to be among the worst. Now a new study of nearly 900 nonhuman primates in Bangladesh and Cambodia shows that macaques harbor more diverse astroviruses, which can cause ...

One-step test for hepatitis C virus infection developed

November 14, 2015

UC Irvine Health researchers have developed a cost-effective one-step test that screens, detects and confirms hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections. Dr. Ke-Qin Hu, director of hepatology services, will present findings at the ...

Computer model reveals deadly route of Ebola outbreak

November 10, 2015

Using a novel statistical model, a research team led by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health mapped the spread of the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, providing the most detailed picture to date ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.