Destroy lab stocks of eradicated cattle disease, OIE says

Most remaining laboratory stocks of a devastating cattle disease should be destroyed to ensure the eradicated virus is not back into nature, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said Monday.

"If someone laid their hands on an eradicated virus it could cause a ," OIE chief Bernard Vallat said.

The OIE announced last year the eradication of the viciously contagious and often fatal , also known as cattle plague, making it only the second virus after smallpox in humans ever to be expunged from living beings.

The problem, Vallat told AFP after speaking at a Biological Weapons Convention meeting in Geneva, is that dozens of laboratories around the world still have samples of the virus, which has been a curse to throughout the ages and which has often contributed to that in turn have fuelled turbulence and war.

"Among these laboratories, there are some that are not at all in line with safe bio-," he said, pointing out that there is a risk the virus, by accident or intentionally, "could find itself back in nature and could start killing again."

If the virus were to reappear it could spread like wildfire among livestock that is no longer vaccinated against it, he said.

To ensure that the world remains free from the disease, Vallat said his organisation was calling on all countries to either destroy their remaining stocks of the virus or to transfer their stocks to approved reference labs.

The OIE and the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) had called for a moratorium on all research using the live rinderpest virus, he said.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

World first: Cattle plague is declared eradicated

May 25, 2011

World farm monitors on Wednesday declared a cattle-killing virus that has been a curse through the ages had been wiped out, the first time an animal disease has been eradicated in human history.

Virus has bird, pig, human components: farm trade watchdog

Apr 27, 2009

The top agency for health in farm animals on Monday said Mexico's outbreak of deadly influenza was unleashed by a pathogen mixed from bird, human and hog viruses and branded the term "swine flu" as wrong and harmful to pig ...

94 French farms struck by new 'Schmallenberg' virus

Feb 14, 2012

Ninety-four farms in northern France have been hit by a novel virus, first uncovered in Germany last year, that strikes cattle, sheep and goats, a French research agency reported on Tuesday.

Recommended for you

Oral contraceptive equal to antibiotics for acne care

1 hour ago

(HealthDay)—At six months, oral contraceptive pills (OCPs) are comparable to systemic antibiotics for acne management, according to a review published in the September issue of the Journal of the American Ac ...

Photodynamic therapy vs. cryotherapy for actinic keratoses

2 hours ago

Photodynamic therapy (PDT, which uses topical agents and light to kill tissue) appears to better clear actinic keratoses (AKs, a common skin lesion caused by sun damage) at three months after treatment than cryotherapy (which ...

US official warns Ebola outbreak will get worse

4 hours ago

A third top doctor has died from Ebola in Sierra Leone, a government official said Wednesday, as a leading American health official warned that the outbreak sweeping West Africa would get worse before it ...

UN releases $1.5mn to help DR Congo fight Ebola

5 hours ago

The United Nations on Wednesday allocated $1.5 million (1.1 million euros) to help the Democratic Republic of Congo fight Ebola, just days after the country confirmed its first cases this year.

User comments