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Botswana Reports Outbreak of FMD

09 August 2010

BOTSWANA - Botswana's veterinary specialists have reported a new outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in the country.

The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) received an immediate notification on Friday, 6 August. According to the report, the outbreak was confirmed on 3 August in Kasane.

The outbreak was first detected on 26 July. 34 cases were detected in cattle, and 346 animals showed signs of susceptibility to the disease. In the case of swine, 66 were found susceptible.

According to the OIE, the primary cause of the outbreak is contact with wild species.

The report states that the suspected outbreak is outside the “FMD free zone where vaccination is not practiced” recognised by the OIE; hence it will not affect the disease status of FMD free zones within the country. The village in which the suspected outbreak occurred is along the international border between Botswana and Zimbabwe sandwiched between two national parks (Hwange in Zimbabwe and Chobe in Botswana).

Cattle in this village are communally reared and watered from a natural spring in the outskirts of the village and the spring is frequented by wild animals from both parks. Historically, FMD susceptible animals and their products are not allowed to leave this zone. The disease is controlled through routine scheduled vaccinations which are undertaken three times a year using a 3PD50 trivalent vaccine.

Because the animals are herded and kraaled at night throughout the year to guard against predators, coverage during vaccinations is almost 100 per cent. The experienced proportion of vaccinated cases was below the expected.


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