November 2nd, 2010
01:28 PM ET

Virus puts African flocks at risk

More than 50 million sheep and goats in 15 countries across southern Africa are at risk from a virus with a death rate that can approach 100 percent, the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization said Tuesday.

While the Small Ruminants' Plague does not infect humans, the U.N. agency said it could have a devastating economic and social impact across the region.

"Sheep and goats are critical to food and income security for pastoral communities. The presence of the disease directly affects a family's wealth," the FAO's chief veterinary officer, Juan Lubroth, said in a statement.

The disease broke out in Tanzania early this year, the FAO said. It is easily spread as animals make contact in pastures and in markets, according to Adama Diallo, who led a recent FAO-sponsored emergency mission to Tanzania.

Diallo recommend an emergency vaccination program around outbreak sites and herding routes, especially along borders with Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia, and that authorities not allow herders to move their flocks.

The disease has previously infected western, eastern and central Africa. It is also found in the Mideast and parts of central Asia, the FAO said.

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soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. bob


    November 3, 2010 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Gonzo

    TRANSLATION: Western powers have found a new way stall population growth in that continent. The raw material is still being shipped out and as long as we find ways to limit growth, they will always be ours.

    NSSM 200

    There is no natural virus that can have 100% kill rate, that is BS, this is man made stuff.

    November 3, 2010 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Alice C.

    Ok, all of you guys out there saying, "OMG, GOD WILL HELP US IF WE PRAY ENOUGH," get a life! News flash!! Have you ever thought where GOD came from? I bet he came from the apes, too! So get a hold of yourself and stop believing all of that hooey!

    November 3, 2010 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Lance

    Looks like Monsanto is up to new tricks. Hey Bush! Your support of this Global destroyer makes YOU the true evildoer.

    November 3, 2010 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
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