Foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in Limpopo

2013-07-23 13:18

Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) has been detected in cattle in Limpopo.

“The outbreak was confirmed by laboratory tests on July 18,” the national agriculture, forestry and fisheries department spokesperson Antoinette Fourie said in a statement today.

“The outbreak occurred just north of Phalaborwa, in a communal grazing area, and is located within South Africa’s FMD protection zone, in the area where vaccination for FMD is practised,” she said.

According to Wikipedia, FMD is an infectious and sometimes fatal viral disease which affects cloven-hoofed animals.

The virus causes fever and blisters, and can spread through aerosols, contact with contaminated farming equipment, vehicles, clothing or food, and through domestic and wild predators.

Fourie said the province’s veterinary service was investigating.

“(It is) applying control measures such as quarantine of the affected cattle, and movement control of cloven-hooved animals in the surrounding areas.”

Animals in the surrounding areas would be vaccinated.

Fourie said the outbreak would not affect exports. She could not be reached for further comment.

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