Foot, mouth disease outbreak spreads in northeast Namibia




Namibia’s Directorate of Veterinary Services on Friday said that the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreak in northeast Zambezi region has spread to four other villages, infecting 795 cattles.

Foot and mouth disease is a severe and highly contagious viral disease of livestock that has a significant economic impact.

The first FMD case in the latest outbreak was confirmed at Kasenu village, in Kasika area of Zambezi region, Namibia on June 3.

Albertina Shilongo , chief veterinary, ministry of Agriculture said the FMD infection is suspected to be due to either the contact of cattle with free-roaming buffaloes in the area or smuggling of infected cattle from neighboring countries.

“The investigation to ascertain the source of infection is ongoing; the spread of the disease to other villages is due to the movement of livestock to areas in the flood plain in search of better grazing.

“Control measures are being instituted and will be enforce for the next 14 days and after the 14 day period, the measures will be reviewed,’’ she said.

She added that emergency vaccination of cattle against the FMD has started in high-risk areas.

So far 68,544 out of 75,000 cattle have been vaccinated, representing 93 percent of the targeted cattle population.

Farmers are urged to continue to bring their cattle for vaccination as the announcement of veterinary services. (Xinhua/)

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