Published Date: 2012-03-11 10:43:16
Subject: PRO/AH> Foot & mouth disease - Egypt (03): spread
Archive Number: 20120311.1067265
FOOT & MOUTH DISEASE - EGYPT (03): SPREAD
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2012
Source: The Egyptian Gazette [smmmarised, edited]
FMD is back, causing panic in Upper Egypt and the Delta
In the space of only 48 hours, as many as 5000 head of cattle have died of foot and mouth disease [FMD], leading to a boycott of meat and dairy products in every village in el-Gharbiya.
Veterinary units have ignored the problem and haven’t responded to the farmers’ complaints. If the government doesn’t do something soon, things will only go from bad to worse. Many fellaheen have accused el-Gharbiya governor Mohamed Abdel-Qader and veterinary officials of negligence; they are holding a sit-in outside the governorate’s headquarters, with their dead cattle.
Thousands of breeders and farmers have been protesting in 5 villages in el-Gharbiya, demanding that Abdel-Qader resign. Gamal Atwa, a cattle breeder, says that the veterinary unit in his village doesn’t help the farmers. "We had to pay for a vet ourselves. He said that our cattle are all infected with foot and mouth. We are losing up to 5 calves every day, even though we’re doing what the vet told us," he explains.
Although the veterinary units in the village bought a vaccine for the disease two months ago, the cattle are infected and the veterinary units are not listening to the peasants’ complaints [see comment].
Sayyed Hamed, another breeder, says that the disease appeared in January, but the governmental bodies aren’t offering them any assistance. "I’m losing LE40 000 [USD 6633.50] a week. In fact it’s more than that, as I use the profits from my dairy products to buy fodder for the cattle. Some of my workers are leaving, because they’re afraid of the animals infecting them," he told Al-Ahram local newspaper.
Meanwhile, the General Authority for Veterinary Services (GAVS) has announced a state of emergency in some governorates. It has cordoned off the infected farms, preventing animals from going out and coming in. Osama Selim, head of the GAVS, told Al-Masri Al-Youm independent newspaper that FMD is transmitted by infected animals or by the people who look after them.
"Infected animals stop eating their fodder so their milk yields plummet, while 50 per cent of calves infected with the virus die. Because of the disease, gangs have been smuggling African calves into Egypt via the Libyan border," he explained.
[byline: Amina Abdul Salam]
[Certain pathogenic strains of FMD may cause mortalities of 50 per cent and beyond in young offspring of susceptible populations of cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs, mainly due to multifocal myocarditis. The fact that the currently applied Egyptian vaccines seem not to be effective should not surprise; if the current FMDV strain is SAT2, as earlier published, the locally available vaccines, comprising strains O and A, will not protect against it.
During an earlier inroduction of FMDV SAT-2 to the region, it caused an outbreak in Libya (2009); see OIE's notification at
The spread of FMD virus SAT2 in Egypt is of concern to the entire region. On top of animal movement restrictions and other quarantine measures, preventive vaccination deserves prompt consideration. According to the list of FMD vaccine manufacturers on the website of CFSPH (Centre for Food Security and Public Health, Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine http://www.cfsph.iastate.edu/Vaccines/disease_list.php?disease=foot-and-mouth-disease&lang=en), this vaccine is currently available from the following manufacturers:
1. Botswana Vaccine Institute (adjuvant - Aluminum hydroxide, saponin). Registered in Botswana.
2. MSD Animal Health (Merck) (adjuvant - oil). Registered in: Algeria, Netherlands, Philippines, Turkey.
Information on other producers/manufacturers of FMDV SAT2 vaccines and relevant technical data will be welcomed.
For the location of the Gharbia provinc in Egypt's delda, see map at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Egypt_Gharbia_locator_map.svg. - Mod.AS
A HealthMap/ProMED-mail map can be accessed at: http://healthmap.org/r/1zkM.]