New FMD vaccine received from Botswana

22 September 2021 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK

The agriculture ministry has received a new vaccine from Botswana for the new Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) virus strain that was detected in the Zambezi Region.

The FMD virus serotype O was first confirmed on 9 August by the ministry following an outbreak that was reported on 3 June in the FMD-infected zone at Kasenu village in the Kabbe South constituency.

The disease then spread to three other constituencies - Kabbe North, Katima Rural and Kongola - infecting more than 1 300 cattle in 18 crushpen areas.

The ministry explained that laboratory analysis confirmed the new strain of FMD in samples collected from Kabbe North as one of the virus serotypes causing the outbreak in Zambezi, apart from the FMD virus serotypes SAT1 and 2 which were identified at the beginning of the outbreak.

“This is the first time in the history of Namibia the FMD serotype O is being identified. The high infection rate caused by the new FMD serotype O explains the poor response to the vaccination to this outbreak,” it said last month.

Illegal movement

Ministry spokesperson Jona Musheko said that the ministry received the new vaccine a couple of weeks ago and that they are making final logistic arrangements to make sure that they can start with vaccination today.

“This will continue until we cover the entire region.”

He said that after this, cattle will have to receive a second vaccination.

It is suspected that there was illegal cross-border movement of cattle between Namibia and Zambia as that country reported outbreaks of the FMD serotype in 2019 and last year to the World Health Organisation.

A part from cattle, sheep and goats can be severely affected by serotype O, but the latter two are less susceptible to the SAT serotypes.

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