Published Date: 2003-02-03 23:50:00
Subject: PRO/AH> Foot & mouth disease - Syria 2002: OIE
Archive Number: 20030203.0296
FOOT & MOUTH DISEASE - SYRIA 2002: OIE
A ProMED-mail post
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International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Fri, 31 Jan 2003
From: ProMED-mail <email@example.com>
Source: Office International des Epizooties Disease Information 2003;
16(5): 31 Jan [edited]
Foot and mouth disease in Syria: additional information
See Disease Information 2002; 15(51): 20 Dec and 2003; 16(1): 3 Jan.
Information received on 18 and 29 Jan 2003 from Dr George Khoury, director
of Animal Health Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform,
Report date: 29 Jan 2003. We confirm that cases of foot and mouth disease
(FMD) occurred in February 2002 and that the last case occurred during the
first week of March 2002 in a Governmental dairy farm about 1 km from
Damascus city (see Disease Information 2003; 16(1): 3 Jan).
Strict quarantine procedures were applied on the farm, and all items that
had been in contact with the infected animals, including milk, were
disposed of. An emergency vaccination campaign was immediately implemented
around the outbreak area. It should be noted that all cattle in Syria are
generally vaccinated twice a year against FMD.
Since March 2002, no new cases have occurred in cattle in that area or in
any other parts of Syria. No FMD cases have occurred in sheep since 1999.
Sheep are kept in Al Badia (desert) far away from the cities, and do not,
therefore, mix with cattle. In addition, they are vaccinated yearly.
Note: The November 2002 report from the Institute for Animal Health,
Pirbright, United Kingdom (OIE/FMD World Reference Laboratory for FMD
(WRL/FMD); see OIE Disease Information 2002; 15(51): 20 Dec, and OIE
Bulletin No. 2003 -- 1, p 11) mentioned the months of February, March,
July, October, and November 2002 as the dates of sample collection.
However, these dates are not the actual dates of sample collection from
cattle. They are the dates when the samples were sent by the sub-laboratory
in the infected area to the Central Laboratory of the Directorate of Animal
Health in Damascus. In Syria, it is standard practice for the
sub-laboratories to keep the samples and not to destroy them until they
receive the approval of the Central Laboratory. For this reason the
sub-laboratories were requested to provide the Directorate of Animal Health
with these samples at different dates, which correspond to the dates
mentioned in the WRL/FMD report. Thus, the samples sent to WRL/FMD in
November 2002 had been collected during the suspected outbreaks in February
and March 2002.
[This detailed complementary report on the FMD situation in Syria is
commendable. In addition to clarifying data on the locations and species
involved in the previously described outbreaks, it includes important
details on the vaccination schemes practised in this country. In the
previous Syrian notification on these outbreaks, sent to the OIE on 17 Dec
2002, 2 FMD serotypes -- received and defined by the WRL/FMD at Pirbright
-- were mentioned, namely O and A. The Monthly Typing reports of the
WRL/FMD can be seen at
Additional information on the serotypes included in the vaccines used in
Syria to protect large and small ruminants would be useful. - Mod.AS]