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UN: Egypt outbreak threatens region
A major outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease among Egyptian livestock could spread to other parts of North Africa and the Middle East, threatening food security, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) warned yesterday.
Over 40,000 animals have been infected, according to official estimates, while 4,658 animals, mostly calves, have already died, the Rome-based FAO said.
The FAO warned that 6.3 million buffalo and cattle and 7.5 million sheep and goats are at risk in Egypt.
“Although foot-and-mouth disease has circulated in the country for some years, this is an entirely new introduction of a virus strain known as SAT2, and livestock have no immune protection against it,” the FAO said.
...Foot-and-mouth disease affects all cloven-hoofed animals, including sheep, goats, cattle, buffalo and pigs.
It causes serious production losses and can be lethal, particularly to younger animals.
Chicken, egg prices shoot up
...Thousands of poultry farms have been closed in the country over the last three months as the disease, also called avian flu, reappeared this year with four people found to be infected with its H5N1 virus.
It was the second blow to the county's poultry sector, which had passed through a virtual disaster after the outbreak of the disease for the first time in 2008, poultry traders said.
As part of the impacts this time, the prices of eggs and chickens rose sharply...
Besides Bangladesh, bird flu has reappeared in Nepal, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, China, Taiwan and Cambodia early this year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said.
According to WHO, despite preventive efforts the H5N1virus continues to rage and has often compelled farmers to cull birds and eggs.
...The bird flu also reappeared in Egypt in northern Africa and Netherlands in Europe this year.