Major foot-and-mouth outbreak in Egypt threatens region: FAO

March 22, 2012

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) on Thursday warned of a major new foot-and-mouth outbreak in Egypt which could threaten the whole of North Africa and the Middle East.

"Urgent action is required ... to prevent its spread throughout North Africa and the Middle East, which could have serious implications for food security in the region," the UN agency warned in a statement.

In Egypt, official estimates speak of more than 40,000 suspected cases, with more than 4,600 animals, mostly calves, already dead.

While foot-and-mouth disease has circulated in Egypt for some years "this is an entirely new introduction of a known as SAT2, and livestock have no against it," FAO said.

"With vaccines urgently needed, international and regional organizations are at the ready to assist in developing a regional prevention, preparedness and action plan," the organisation added.

The UN body said it was working with the government in Egypt to bring the outbreak under control.

"The area around the Lower appears to be severely affected, while other areas in Upper Egypt and the west appear less so," according to Juan Lubroth, FAO's Chief Veterinary Officer.

Farmers have been urged to limit , avoid buying animals, and to burn or bury the carcasses of dead animals.

According to FAO's livestock census data, 6.3 million buffalo and cattle and 7.5 million sheep and goats are at risk in Egypt.

Vaccines for the strain are currently in limited supply and vaccination often takes up to two weeks to confer immunity, FAO said, while urging anti-contamination measures.

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.

East Africa and Middle East seek plan to keep animal diseases from disrupting livestock trade

June 14, 2011
With increased trade in livestock products offering a possible antidote to high food prices, livestock experts from the Middle East and 12 African countries are meeting this week in Dubai to develop a strategy that eliminates ...

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

Novel approach to track HIV infection

August 18, 2017
Northwestern Medicine scientists have developed a novel method of tracking HIV infection, allowing the behavior of individual virions—infectious particles—to be connected to infectivity.

Faulty gene linked to obesity in adults

August 18, 2017
Groundbreaking new research linking obesity and metabolic dysfunction to a problem in the energy generators in cells has been published by researchers from the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research and The University ...

Two lung diseases killed 3.6 million in 2015: study

August 17, 2017
The two most common chronic lung diseases claimed 3.6 million lives worldwide in 2015, according to a tally published Thursday in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

New test differentiates between Lyme disease, similar illness

August 16, 2017
Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vector-borne illness in the United States. But it can be confused with similar conditions, including Southern Tick-Associated Rash Illness. A team of researchers led by Colorado ...

Addressing superbug resistance with phage therapy

August 16, 2017
International research involving a Monash biologist shows that bacteriophage therapy – a process whereby bacterial viruses attack and destroy specific strains of bacteria - can be used successfully to treat systemic, multidrug ...

Can previous exposure to west Nile alter the course of Zika?

August 15, 2017
West Nile virus is no stranger to the U.S.-Mexico border; thousands of people in the region have contracted the mosquito-borne virus in the past. But could this previous exposure affect how intensely Zika sickens someone ...

0 comments

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.