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FMD Outbreaks in Zimbabwe Affect Cattle

20 May 2014

ZIMBABWE - The Zimbabwean veterinary authorities have reported three new outbreaks of foot and mouth disease at various farms in Masvingo, affecting beef cattle of all ages under an extensive production system.

The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) received an immediate notification on Friday, 16 May.

The causal agent has been found to be the FMD virus, serotype SAT 1. The outbreak was initially observed on 14 April and confirmed on 1 May.

According to the report sent to the OIE, a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was carried out at the Zimbabwe Central Veterinary Laboratory on 1 May and on 6 May, an antibody detection ELISA test was carried out at the Central Veterinary Laboratory. Both tests resulted positive.

The OIE reports that all three outbreaks occurred in adjoining farms close to a wildlife conservancy with wild buffaloes. There was evidence of fence breakages on the conservancy perimeter fence which may have resulted in mixing of cattle and buffaloes. Infection is likely to have spread from Alko ranch to Fauna and Kayalami through cattle to cattle contact.

Contact with infected animals at grazing/watering and contact with wild species have been identified as the main sources of the outbreaks.


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