Foot and Mouth firmly entrenched in South America : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Friday, March 23 8:43 PM SGT

Argentina acknowledges 55 areas of foot-and-mouth infection BUENOS AIRES, March 23 (AFP) - Argentine food inspectors have identified 55 locations around the country where livestock has been infected with foot-and-mouth disease, and 36 areas where infection is suspected to have occurred, the Economy Ministry said Friday.

That number is almost double the amount listed by the ministry's National Food Safety and Quality Service, or SENASA, just three days ago.

A SENASA statement released Friday did not specify the location of the areas of infection, or the exact number of animals infected.

"We did a situation analysis and have now designed a program to fight the problem," said agency director Hector Salamanco.

Salamanco said officials would create a "sanitary ring" around the infected areas to prevent propagation of the disease.

The announcement came just two days after new Economy Minister Domingo Cavallo promised greater transparency in weekly reports on livestock infected with the foot-and-mouth.

On Tuesday SENASA listed 25 confirmed cases of the disease and 28 suspected cases.

Foot-and-mouth disease -- endemic to certain parts of South America -- is highly infectious and spreads rapidly if uncontrolled. Humans cannot contract the disease, but can spread it.

-- Tom Flook (, March 24, 2001


Until I stand corrected I believe birds can be a carrier of the F&M disease. Millions of migratory birds from Argentina and Chile for example are already heading towards us; some potentially carrying the disease. Its only a matter of time until N. America starts to see cases of the F&M disease.

-- David John Rowe (, March 26, 2001.

Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2001 02:06:19 -0500 (EST) From: ProMED-mail Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Foot & mouth disease - survival on fomites

FOOT & MOUTH DISEASE - SURVIVAL ON FOMITES ****************************************** A ProMED-mail post ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: 25 Mar 2001 From: Howard Pharo

Foot and mouth disease - survival of the virus on fomites - --------------------------------- Ever since the appearance of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in the United Kingdom, we (the Animal Biosecurity Risk Analysis section of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry) have been bombarded by phone calls, letters, faxes, and emails from members of the public who are suddenly extremely anxious about the risk of FMD virus arriving on these shores via fomites.

No doubt the anxiety has been fuelled by moves on the part of several European countries to install disinfectant-impregnated mats at airports over which passengers from UK flights have to walk, and the banning by some countries of imports of horses because of the purported risk of FMD virus being present in soil carried on hooves. We considered the risk of FMD on fomites in some detail when we carried out an import risk analysis on sheeps' wool in 1998, and it was interesting to us how little primary research has been carried out on this matter in the past 30 years or so.

In fact, most review papers which examine the epidemiology of FMD appear to refer to previous reviews when considering the risk posed by fomites, and several of these previous review papers in turn refer to even earlier reviews. In our own risk analyses, wherever possible we try to use primary peer-reviewed sources. We therefore found attempting to assess the FMD-on-fomite risk to be rather frustrating.

One of the better review articles seems to be that of GE Cottral from 1969. [Cottral GE (1969). Persistence of foot-and-mouth disease virus in animals, their products and the environment. Bulletin de L'Office International des Epizooties, 71(3-4), 549-68.] Table XII of that reference comprises a list of the fomites with which FMD virus has been associated, together with the length of the risk in weeks. For each fomite, one or more references are cited. However, a closer look at the 15 references cited by Cottral shows the vast majority of them are written either in German or Russian. Of the 4 that are in the English language, one is the 1931 Fourth and Fifth Progress Reports of the UK Foot-and Mouth Disease Research Committee, one is a chapter in a text book on swine diseases, one is a presentation to a 1956 USDA symposium, and only one is a peer-reviewed paper.

Of those in Russian, in 1998 we did go to the trouble of getting one paper (Gizitdinov et al, 1957) translated into English, as it looked particularly relevant to the risk of wool that we were assessing, but we wonder how often that happens. Rather, many review articles refer to the Veterinary Bulletin and other abstracting sources when referring to these papers. So my question is, where is all the primary research to allow an objective assessment of the risk of transmission of FMD across international borders by fomites? As far as we can see, most such spread is by trade in live animals or animal products, and possibly by wind under certain specific environmental circumstances. Although there was some speculation that imported hay or straw was a possible route of introduction of FMD into Japan in March 2000, we are not aware of there being any objective assessment of that pathway.

There appears little doubt that spread via contaminated fomites has been responsible for a great deal of farm to farm spread during epidemics (depending on the predominant production system in the country concerned), but how are we to assess the risk posed by shoes worn by tourists coming from infected countries, let alone the risk posed by their tents or their socks? Perhaps experts in this area might care to comment, and to suggest primary reference material of relevance.

--Howard J Pharo National Adviser, Risk Analysis Animal Biosecurity MAF Biosecurity Authority Wellington New Zealand

[Howard has presented some interesting assessments as well as questioning the standard. If there is some accurate references, or authorities on the issue we would appreciate knowing it. We know from previous FMD outbreaks others would send their laundry back home in other countries [without causing outbreaks back home]. --moderators]

-- Andre Weltman (, March 26, 2001.

fomes n. (pl. fomites) any agent as clothing
or bedding, that is capable of absorbing and
transmitting the infecting organism of a
disease. [Webster's Unabridged]

-- spider (, March 26, 2001.

In laymans terms - All migratory birds should wipe their feet on disinfectant-inpregnated mats when flying into our borders. "Houston - We have a problem!"

-- D.J. Rowe (, March 27, 2001.

spider, thanks for posting the dictionary definition, my oversight to not do so.

-- Andre Weltman (, March 27, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ