Published Date: 2018-05-15 18:32:00
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Foot & mouth disease - Israel (04): (HZ) bovine, wildlife, spread
Archive Number: 20180515.5798415
FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE - ISRAEL (04): (HAZAFON) BOVINE, WILDLIFE, SPREAD
A ProMED-mail post http://www.promedmail.org
ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseases http://www.isid.org
- (1) FMD in gazelles, nature reserve Nachal Yissachar and Nachal Tavor
- (2) FMD in gazelles, nature reserve Nachal Yissachar and Nachal Tavor - notice
- (3) FMD in captive deer, Afula zoo
 FMD in gazelles, nature reserve Nachal Yissachar and Nachal Tavor
Date: Mon 14 May 2018
Source: The Israeli Surface Site 4X4 [in Hebrew, trans. Mod.AS, edited]
The 4-wheel-drive tour, planned for the Nahal Tavor and Nahal Issachar Nature reserve, has been, unfortunately, cancelled. I incidentally came across a news flash on one of the websites indicating that the said nature reserves have been closed to the public due to an outbreak of foot and mouth disease affecting gazelles.
A quick inquiry revealed that the measure has already been immediately applied and is already in force. We have to change the route, trying to maintain our plans for an adjacent region. Instead of a north-to-south direction, we shall drive in the Ramat-Sirrin plateau from southwest to northeast. All participants have been notified and a new meeting point decided upon.
[Byline: Ofer Adar]
[The notice by Israel's Nature and Parks Authority is presented in article 2 below. - Mod.AS]
 FMD in gazelles, nature reserve Nachal Yissachar and Nachal Tavor - notice
Date: Tue 1 May 2018
Source: Nature and Parks Authority, Israel [in Hebrew, trans. Mod.AS, summarized, edited]
The nature reserves of Nahal Tavor and Nahal Issachar are temporarily closed for pedestrians and vehicles due to the outbreak of foot and mouth disease [FMD] in the area in order to prevent the spread of the disease, which seriously affects the population of endangered gazelles.
In recent weeks, 20 gazelles, out of a population of about 800 in the Nahal Tavor Nature Reserve and the Issachar Stream, have contracted FMD and died. This is a viral disease that affects cattle, sheep, pigs, deer, and antelopes. This is the largest antelope population in Israel.
During earlier outbreaks of the disease, the gazelle population decreased by more than 30 percent.
In order to reduce the spread of the disease to other areas, the Israel Nature and National Parks Protection Authority decided to take a preventive step and isolate and monitor the affected area of nature reserves and surrounding areas for about one month from the beginning of May 2018. This area stretches from Kibbutz Gazit and Moledet in the west, Kfar Kish in the north, Kibbutz Gesher in the east, Issachar panoramic road in the south (North of Kibbutz Beit Hashita) to Route 90 in the east.
During this period, the entrance of visitors, farmers, and cattle herds will be banned, and army training will be limited. At the end of the period, the distribution of the disease will be reassessed.
Avoid entering the area until the situation is reassessed. It is important to understand that in the absence of effective wildlife vaccination, reducing pedestrian and vehicular traffic in the affected area is the most effective way to isolate the disease and reduce its spread within and outside the affected area. Please cooperate and help preserve nature in general and the gazelle population in particular.
It is emphasized that FMD is not dangerous to humans.
 FMD in captive deer, Afula zoo
Date: Tue 8 May 2018
Source: My Net Afula [in Hebrew, trans. Mod AS, summarized, edited]
The zoo in the municipal park of Afula is infected with FMD. As a result, the zoo has been closed to the public and put under quarantine.
According to the zoo's director, Golan Vaknin, the disease was discovered on 1 May 2018 when typical FMD changes were identified in the hearts of 2 dead deer. He added that the disease is not hazardous to humans.
The sign on the small zoo's fence, as can be seen in the included picture (see source URL), says: "The zoo is under temporary quarantine due to foot & mouth disease. The disease is not hazardous to humans but can be transmitted to animals by contact through humans. Please do not approach or come close to the fence."
[Byline: Yosef Vaknin]
[Afula is the main town of Emek Yizra'el (The Jezreel Valley, map at https://tinyurl.com/y7kxcsyv). This has become the location of the most westerly FMD outbreak within the current event, which started in late April 2018.
The above media report also includes a picture of the deer species affected (see source URL). Considering the peracute death of the 2 animals, it may be assumed that this species is highly susceptible to this FMDV-O virus strain.
Israel initially notified the current FMD serotype O event to the OIE on 9 Apr 2018, reporting its 1st outbreak in a grazing beef cattle herd of Kibbutz Gazit, northeast Israel (see 20180410.5737736). On 27 Apr 2018, a 2nd outbreak was identified in a dairy cattle farm in Neve-Ur, a Kibbutz adjacent to the Jordan river, which separates Israel from the Kingdom of Jordan (20180429.5773006). The said outbreak (Neve Ur) and 3 additional new outbreaks, of which 2 were in grazing beef cattle herds and one in wild gazelles in the Nachal Issachar and Nachal Tavor nature reserve, were notified to the OIE in follow-up report No. 1 dated 29 Apr 2018. The event in the Afula zoo becomes the 6th outbreak in Israel since the start of the event in April 2018.
For epidemiological statistics and additional details, and for a map showing the locations of the 5 OIE-reported outbreaks, please see OIE's summary report at http://www.oie.int/wahis_2/public/wahid.php/Reviewreport/Review/viewsummary?fupser=&dothis=&reportid=26394.
A 7th outbreak, similarly caused by FMDV-O, has been disclosed in a circular sent by the Head of the Field Veterinary Services (Min Agriculture) to stakeholders on 8 May 2018. This new outbreak affected another grazing beef cattle herd of Moshav Moledet, northeast to Afula.
The April/May FMD event in northeast Israel, incorporating the nature reserve with the mountain gazelle population, resembles the major FMD outbreak in May-June 1985, when gazelles, beef cattle herds, and the very same dairy operation in Kibbutz Neve-Ur were affected. Following the 1985 event, it was hypothesized that the infection could have been windborne, introduced from Jordan and disseminated by the dense wild-boar population on both sides of the Jordan river. This hypothesis was based upon a simulated computer analysis (Ref 1).
The possible role of wild boar in FMD virus dissemination deserves to be further investigated. _Suidae_ are regarded as the most prolific amplifiers of the FMD virus and have long been signified as the origin of airborne spread of the virus for considerable distances. Sampling of sera and other relevant tissues from wild boars in the Jordan valley, and their testing, should shed more light upon the role of wild boar in the epidemiology of FMD in Israel, Jordan and the region at large. It will be interesting to note whether the virus spreads further in domestic animals as well as wildlife, similar to the scenario in 1985, when gazelles were severely affected.
Genotyping results of the current cases have not yet been published. The 2017 outbreaks in Israel and the Palestinian territories were reportedly caused by FMD virus serotype O, topotype EA-3, most probably introduced from Egypt through the Gaza strip.
The current event may be caused by a new introduction. One of the plausible candidates is O/ME-SA/PanAsia-2, an FMD virus circulating in west Eurasia (Pakistan, Iran, Turkey). This genotype was involved in several outbreaks in Israel during the years 2012-2014.
Jordan reported during 2017 4 outbreaks of FMD serotype O; unfortunately, samples were not submitted to WRLFMD (at Pirbright) for genotyping.
1. Donaldson AI, Lee M et al (1988). A possible airborne transmission of foot-and-mouth disease virus from Jordan to Israel - a simulated computer analysis. Isr J Vet Med 44 (2):92-96. - Mod.AS
Hazafon, Israel: http://healthmap.org/promed/p/1759]