Published Date: 2016-08-16 15:03:08
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Foot & mouth disease - Mauritius: 1st rep, untyped
Archive Number: 20160816.4419978
FOOT & MOUTH DISEASE - MAURITIUS: FIRST REPORT, UNTYPED
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Sun 14 Aug 2016
Source: News Ghana [edited]
New cases of foot-and-mouth disease [FMD] have been discovered on Rodrigues Island, a Mauritius territory situated 600 km [about 373 mi] northeast of the capital Port Louis, a Mauritius official has said.
Mauritius Agro Industry and Food Security Minister Mahen Seeruttun said importation of animals to Rodrigues could have resulted into the virus reaching this tourist island.
FMD normally affects cattle, sheep, and goats.
The minister said the disease was detected by Rodrigues veterinary services on 7 Jul 2016.
A total of 579 animals suspected of suffering from FMD have been slaughtered in Rodrigues Island, while 300 others have been slaughtered in other parts of Mauritius.
The exact cause of the transmission of the disease in Rodrigues is not yet known, Seeruttun said, adding that "we suspect the virus was carried to the island through infected meat carried by travellers using yachts."
The minister said the results of analyses carried out in France and South Africa will enable authorities to know the source of the disease.
"It may take about 3 years to completely eradicate FMD from Rodrigues Island. But currently there is a temporary ban on importation of beef, pork, goat meat, as well as lamb meat on the island," the minister said.
[Though the species affected by the virus is not named, most likely these are bovine animals.
The following media report, published on 9 Aug 2016 in "AllAfrica", sheds more light on this exceptional event (http://allafrica.com/stories/201608090819.html).
"An order of 10 000 doses of vaccines has been placed with a laboratory in Botswana following an outbreak of the foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in Rodrigues and Mauritius. The statement was made by the Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Mr Mahen Seeruttun at the National Assembly yesterday [8 Aug 2016].
He added that analysis of a set of blood samples received on 31 Jul 2016 from Rodrigues was carried out the following day at the Animal Health Laboratory at Réduit and the tests were positive to the FMD. The disease was first detected in Rodrigues and then extended to Mauritius.
Consequently, several teams comprising Veterinary officers and Extension Officers of FAREI [Food and Agricultural Research & Extension Institute] have been constituted and have been visiting the different breeding places in Mauritius to enquire about the health of the animals and to advise the breeders concerned not to effect any transfer of the animals from one place to another around the island.
Mr Seeruttun recalled that on 2 Aug 2016, officers of his Ministry, visited one particular farm in Vallée des Prêtres containing 80 animals including animals imported from Rodrigues on 15 Jul 2016, and suspected clinical cases of FMD were detected. Following the detection of the disease, a Crisis Committee comprising representatives of the Ministry, FAREI, the Ministry of Environment, Sustainable Development, and Disaster and Beach Management, the Ministry of Local Government, the Police Department as well as the Chamber of Agriculture and the Mauritius Meat Producers Association was set up for a better monitoring of the situation."
It will be interesting to note which FMD serotypes are/were included in the vaccine ordered from the Botswana manufacturers.
According to the Mauritius data on OIE's website, FMD has never been reported on its territories. Other animal diseases have been observed throughout the years, the most recent one, varroosis in bees, still circulating.
An official notification, including information on the virus strain and the animal species involved, as well as about the suspected origin of the introduced infected animals or products, is anticipated. - Mod.AS
Maps of Mauritius can be seen at http://www.ezilon.com/maps/images/africa/Mauritius-road-map.gif and http://healthmap.org/promed/p/182. - Sr.Tech.Ed.MJ]