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Foot-and-Mouth Disease in Egypt and northern Africa

Egypt is currently experiencing a serious outbreak of Foot-and-Mourth Disease (FMD), which affects all cloven-hoofed animals, including sheep, goats, cattle, buffalo and pigs. FMD causes serious production losses and can be lethal, particularly to younger animals.

An estimated 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.

Other countries in the region are also at risk from a spread of the disease.


2 May 2012
| Foot-and-mouth disease reported in Gaza Strip
The detection in the Gaza Strip of a new case of a novel strain of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) underscores the importance of maintaining - and intensifying -- international efforts to stop the virus from spreading further in the Middle East and North Africa.

19 April 2012
| Update on FMD in Egypt and Libya, FAO's response
Since issuing an emergency alert on 22 March about the spread of foot-and-mouth disease in Egypt and Libya, FAO has been engaging countries throughout the region to provide support in preventing the spread of FMD. According to FAO analysis of formal and informal trade movements, the outbreaks in eastern Libya in the Benghazi area and widespread outbreak reports throughout Egypt are two separate introductions of the SAT2 strain, brought northward via formal and informal trade movements of livestock from the arid Sahel region that spans the African continent just below the Sahara desert.

29 March 2012 | Report of the FAO rapid-assessment mission to Egypt

27 March 2012 | Situation update: FMD in Egypt and Libya

22 March 2012 | News release: Major foot-and-mouth outbreak in Egypt threatens the region
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.

Photo: ©FAO
FMD causes serious production losses and can be lethal, particularly to younger animals.