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EMPRESEARLY WARNING MESSAGES

Contagious bovine pleuropneumonia in Zambia - Update (March 2004)

Issued on April 2004 through the EMPRES mailing list.

Outbreaks of contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP) were detected in March 2004 in Sesheke district in the south of Western Province and in Livingstone district in the Southern Province of Zambia. The current CBPP outbreaks at these locations are serious threats not only to the cattle population in the rest of Zambia but also to cattle in neighbouring countries in southern Africa, specifically-Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe. Field investigations carried out on the current CBPP spread in Zambia indicated that the outbreaks were due mainly to uncontrolled cattle movement coupled with serious breakdown of animal disease surveillance systems in the country.

Background information

CBPP is currently the most significant transboundary animal disease in Zambia. Apart from its traditional occurrence in the west part of the Western Province, which was regularly infected by cattle from Angola, other parts of this province, parts of the North-Western Province and Southern Province have now become infected. The actual degradation of the situation is due more to the uncontrolled trade and draught cattle movement, than to influx of cattle belonging to refugees. Influx of refugee cattle has been considerably reduced since the end of the civil war in Angola. There is now a strong trade cattle movement from West (Western and North-Western Provinces of Zambia and Angola) towards the Copperbelt Province.

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Outbreak history

Since February 2003, sporadic outbreaks of CBPP have been reported in different parts of Zambia (Northwestern Province, Western Province and Southern Province).

Date

Province

District

Feb. 2003

Northwestern

Mufumbwe

May 2003

Western

Kaoma

Aug. 2003 - March 2004

Western

Sesheke

Dec. 2003 - Feb. 2004

Western

Mulobezi

March 2004

Southern

Livingstone

Click to here to view larger version
[Source: J. Belemu- Department of Veterinary and Livestock Development, Lusaka-Zambia]

The current outbreak situation - March 2004

CBPP was reported in Sesheke district, southern part of the Western Province of Zambia in March 2004. Clinical disease was observed in cattle in Kamoshowane village 2.5 kilometers from Kazungula town near Livingstone. Clinical cases of CBPP were also reported in March 2004 from, Bombwe, Ngwezi and Simongwe in Livingstone district-Southern Province. Post mortem examination of infected cattle conducted at Kamoshowane village near Kazungula, showed unequivocal gross pathological lesions characteristic of CBPP disease.

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Threat of CBPP outbreak to neighbouring countries

Zambia is strategically situated in the southern region of Africa and shares borders with the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Mozambique to the east, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe to the south and Angola to the west. This geographical position puts Zambia at an advantage in terms of easy market access to ever expanding opportunities in the region with respect to trade related activities. In the same vein, CBPP outbreaks especially at Kazungula (a four-country corner town), are extremely worrisome because of potential spread to countries in southern Africa which are currently free or partly free from CBPP notably Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

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Action undertaken by the authorities within the country

Field teams commenced CBPP vaccinations in the entire Sesheke district in February, 2004.

Other actions (in brief):

1. Field staff briefed on steps to follow once they encountered suspected cases of CBPP - using existing Departmental protocol to enhance early reaction to CBPP incursions.

2. Sensitization and education of cattle owners and other stakeholders on disease recognition and management based on FAO EMPRES Disease Recognition Manuals and Concepts.

3. Serological testing (CFT, ELISA) of herds in Sesheke and Livingstone Districts to determine the proportion of distribution of infected herds.

4. Submission of clinical and post mortem samples to the World Reference Laboratory for CBPP (CIRAD/EMVT-Montpellier-France) where Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides has been isolated and identity confirmed by PCR. This activity was facilitated through the FAO TCP project.

5. Clinical inspections to identify the disease in affected areas and also to ensure that meat inspection is performed at local abattoirs and slaughter slabs by trained Veterinary staff.

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EMPRES actions and follow up

A Technical Cooperation Programme project (TCP/ZAM/0169(E) now TCP/ZAM/3002(E)-Emergency control of Transboundary Animal Diseases (CBPP & ASF) has been operational since February 2002, with extension to August 2004. The aim of of the project is to support animal disease (CBPP and ASF) control operations already put in place by the government of Zambia, to prevent further outbreaks of CBPP in particular, in the Western Province of Zambia.

The CBPP component of the project includes the training of meat inspectors, provision of laboratory diagnostic reagents for CBPP diagnosis, improvements in CBPP data collection and analysis, provision of CBPP vaccines for targetted strategic vaccinations against the disease and CBPP control strategy meetings between Chief Veterinary Officers of Angola, Namibia and Zambia. Two CBPP specific technical backstopping missions have been undertaken so far, by an EMPRES Technical Officer. The services of a Veterinary Laboratory Specialist under partnership programme is foreseen in the future to help strengthen diagnostic capacity for CBPP as a basis for improvements in surveillance activities for the disease.

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Sources of information

Emergency Control of Transboundary Animal Diseases in Zambia FAO Technical Cooperation Programme Project (TCP/ZAM/0169) Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Dept of Animal Production and Health, Zambia

Dr.Boubacar M.Seck (Mission report of consultancy, May 2002- Emergency Control of Transboundary Animal Diseases in Zambia,TCP/ZAM/0169)

FAO-First Advisory Technical Services Mission Report: (TCP/ZAM/0169) February 2002

SADC (Southern African development community) web site

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