FMD has killed thousands of animals, sickened tens of thousands more in Lower Nile Delta region
A major outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in Egypt is threatening to spread throughout North Africa and the Middle East, the U.N. Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned.
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- Egypt. A major outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in Egypt has killed more than 4,600 farm animals, mostly calves, and sickened more than 40,000 in the Lower Nile Delta region.
- The disease is threatening to spread throughout North Africa and the Middle East, the U.N. Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned.
- The new strain of the FMD virus known as SAT2 is currently circulating throughout the region.
- Livestock have no immune protection against SAT2 and vaccines currently available in Egypt are said to be ineffective against the new strain.
- “The area around the Lower Nile Delta appears to be severely affected,” said FAO’s Chief Veterinary Officer.
- “Vaccines are in limited supply for the FMD virus now present in Egypt. The country has some reserves of its own vaccines, but these do not protect against the SAT2 strain,” said FAO.
- Milk, meat and other food products from sick animals are unsafe for consumption mainly because they contaminate the food chain.
- Some 6.3 million buffalo and cattle and 7.5 million sheep and goats are at risk in Egypt, according to FAO’s livestock census data.
- FMD is highly infectious and affects all cloven-hoofed animals, including sheep, cattle, buffalo, goats and pigs, causing serious production losses, and can be lethal, especially in younger animals.