Foot and mouth disease hits Zambezi region

An outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) has been reported in Namibia’s Zambezi region.

According to the country’s Republikein newspaper, roughly 1 000 cattle have been affected.

“Due to the high levels of the Chiba River, the island is completely cut off from the country and can only be reached by boat. The island and a radius of 10 km around it, are placed under quarantine.”

Foot and Mouth Disease, a highly contagious viral disease, affects cattle, swine, sheep, goats and other cloven-hoofed ruminants.

According to a report issued by Dr Adrianatus Maseke, Chief Veterinary Officer, the disease was first confirmed on July 14, 2017 and reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) three days later.

The disease affects the Musele Island-Kasika Crushpen, Katima-Mulilo and Zambezi regions.

Since the outbreak, several measures have been put in place. It includes movement control inside the country, surveillance within the containment and/or protection zone, traceability and quarantine, and disinfection. In certain cases, vaccination is permitted.

Symptoms of FMD include fever, lameness, blisters in the mouth and on feet, a decline in milk production, a loss of appetite and weight-loss, quivering lips and frothing of the mouth. Cows may develop blisters on teats.

Nine cases have been reported, leaving 400 more cattle susceptible to the disease. The previous outbreak was recorded in 2016.

The Zambezi province borders Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana.

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