Mobilizing vaccines, strong regional coordinated action crucial
Urgent action is required to control a major outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease and prevent its spread throughout North Africa and the Middle East, which could have serious implications for food security in the region, FAO warned today. With vaccines urgently needed, international and regional organizations are at the ready to assist in developing a regional prevention, preparedness and action plan.
In Egypt 40 222 cases of the disease are suspected, according to official estimates, and 4 658 animals, mostly calves, have already died.
According to FAO's livestock census data, 6.3 million buffalo and cattle and 7.5 million sheep and goats are at risk in Egypt. Although foot-and-mouth disease has circulated in the country for some years, this is an entirely new introduction of a virus strain known as SAT2, and livestock have no immune protection against it.