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URUGUAY

 

FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE REPORT

 

22nd March 2002

 

Background

 

On 23rd April 2001, a suspicion of FMD occurrence was reported. The Veterinary Services investigated and clinically confirmed the disease on 24th April 2001.

 

The official laboratory confirmed the diagnosis by serology, identifying antibodies against type A virus (VIAA and ELISA) on 25th April 2001.

 

The most probable hypothesis is that the virus was mechanically introduced from active outbreaks of the disease in the Republic of Argentine, in areas close to our border. This hypothesis is supported by the fact that the virus type identified is the same in both cases and cattle and other species susceptible to FMD from Argentine have not been introduced into Uruguay.

 

The Departments of Soriano and Colonia have a mixed farming system, combining milk and meat production with intensive agriculture. This system involves intense movement of trucks, machinery and persons. This is an important factor contributing to viral spread (high contact rate and higher probabilities of massive mechanical spread). The investigation carried out suggests that the latter was a determinant factor in the spread of the disease.

 

This approach is further supported by the results of the particularly intense sero-epidemiological surveillance carried out in the area along the Rmo Uruguay during the immediate previous period, which confirmed that during the months of March and April 2001 there was absence of viral activity.

 

Actions taken

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vaccination policy

 

 

 

7        During November 2001, all calves born during the year 2001 were vaccinated or re-vaccinated. This vaccination period finished on November 30th, 2001

7        The first massive cattle vaccination of the year was carried out in February 2002. Information regarding this vaccination appears in the next chapter of this report.

 

7        In May 2002, the second vaccination round will be carried out, involving Uruguay's whole cattle stock.

 

7        On November 2002, all the animals born during the year, until August, shall be vaccinated.

 

7        Meetings will be held with other countries within the region, in order to establish future common eradication programmes.

 

7        On the months of February, April, September and October 2002, serological surveys were and will be carried out in cattle and sheep.

 

Epidemiology (present situation)

 

The disease has extinguished in all 2057 affected holdings. The criterion is that no diseased animals are detected in the last 30 days. At this date there are no foci with viral activity.

 

The last focus of the disease was reported on 21st August 2001.

 


 

OUTBREAK EVOLUTION IN URUGUAY

24TH APRIL 2001 TO 6TH FEBRUARY 2002

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL

FOCI WITHOUT

EXTINGUISHED

FOCI

 

FOCI

AFFECT ANIM

 

 

 

 

 

More than 30 days

Less than 30 days

 

 

 

 

 

 

6/02

6/02

6/02

6/02

 

 

 

 

 

ARTIGAS

49

49

49

0

CANELONES

29

29

29

0

CERRO LARGO

33

33

33

0

COLONIA

379

379

379

0

DURAZNO

94

94

94

0

FLORES

73

73

73

0

FLORIDA

121

121

121

0

LAVALLEJA

29

29

29

0

MALDONADO

12

12

12

0

MONTEVIDEO

0

0

0

0

PAYSANDU

84

84

84

0

RIO NEGRO

177

177

177

0

RIVERA

20

20

20

0

ROCHA

18

18

18

0

SALTO

60

60

60

0

SAN JOSE

81

81

81

0

SORIANO

557

557

557

0

TACUAREMBO

167

167

167

0

TREINTA Y TRES

74

74

74

0

 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL

2057

2057

2057

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mean attack rates of 5.00 % for cattle have been recorded on the direct contact and at risk populations (76,579 / 1,518.965) and 0.02 % for sheep (236/ 947,879) involved in the affected 2,057 farms affected and the surrounding areas.

The evolution of the outbreak is shown in the following graphics and provides clear evidence of the trend followed by the epizootic.



At present, we can assure that the disease has been controlled, the strategy applied has been successful, the vaccines used were appropriate and the emergency actions were positive. In fact, during the last 213 days, no new focus has been reported.

 

Seropidemiological surveillance

 

Seroepidemiological surveillance in FMD affected areas, carried out in August 2001 indicated that infection in sheep was lower than originally expected (7,684 samples were processed, with 206 VIAA positives, a prevalence of 2.7%).

 

These results indicate that the animals had been exposed to infection but the Uruguayan authorities considered that the low prevalence demonstrated that sheep did not play a role in the epidemic.

 

A complementary seroepidemiological study carried out in September 2001 in areas neighbouring FMD outbreaks, concluded that sheep did not play an important role in the maintenance and the spread of FMD, due to the low seroprevalence found (7,677 samples processed, of which 58 were VIA positive; prevalence 0.76%).

 

A serological sampling of cattle was carried out in September 2001, with the aim of estimating the protection level achieved with vaccination. The design of this sampling plan was based on the fact that virus type O, from the October 200 outbreak was successfully eradicated in December. It has, therefore, been assumed that all antibodies to the O type virus would be due to vaccination. On this assumption, the tests carried out assessed O type antibody level, as the best means to measure the number of successfully vaccinated animals. 2100 sera were analysed. The results suggest that an estimated protection level of 99.6% was achieved.

 

During February 2002, a serological survey was carried out in the bovine population. The general objectives were to study the seroepidemiological situation in bovine and the evolution of viral activity with regard to the results obtained in 2001.

 

Guarantee measures

 

In order to provide guarantees to foreign markets, the General Department of Livestock Services has enforced additional measures, taking into account the countrys new sanitary status, such as:

 

 

Markets situation

 

On Tuesday 9th October 2001, the Veterinary Committee of the European Union proposed to the Commission to grant authorisation to Uruguay to resume meat production (cattle, sheep and goats) for the European Union. The Commission issued Decision 2001/767/CE, dated 31 October 2001, authorising to resume production as from 1st November 2001. Other markets have also lifted their restrictions and resumed importation of meat and meat products from Uruguay, e.g., Israel, Egypt, Polony, Hungary, Chile, Mercosur countries and other Latin-American countries.

 

Report on the February 2002 vaccination

 

According to the FMD eradication strategy carried out in Uruguay, between 1st and 28th February 2002, the whole cattle stock was vaccinated.

 

As in previous cases, vaccination Control Routes were established and the farmers were assigned a date and time to apply the vaccine. Therefore, a direct control was carried out, as shown in the following table.

 

DIRECT VACCINATION CONTROL

 

 

FARMS 48.518

FARMS INSPECTED 15.571

VETERINARY CONTROL (HOLDINGS) 1.338

TOTAL 16.909

 

34.8%

 

The percentage of farms with direct control during the vaccination period amounted to 34.8%.

 

By 15th February, 89.9% of all heads of cattle had already been vaccinated and direct control had been carried out over 17% of holdings.

 

PERCENTAGE OF CATTLE INSPECTED

 

CATTLE (AFFIDAVIT 2001) 10.598.034
CATTLE INSPECTED 4.767.138

 

44.9 %

 

In order to carry out this control, the following vehicles were used and the kilometres mentioned were covered.

 

 

 

VEHMCLES USED.

 

MOTORCYCLES 119
PICK-UPS 64

 

TOTAL 183

 

 

KILOMETRES COVERED.

 

MOTORCYCLES 146.789
PICK-UPS 197.519

 

TOTAL 344.308

 

 

The following meetings were held to prepare the vaccination.

 

MEETING HELD

 

OFFICIAL PERSONNEL 214

FARMERS 133

DEPARTMENTAL ANIMAL HEALTH COMMISSIONS 27

SERVICE CO-ORDINATORS 80

 

TOTAL 454

 

Al the vaccine doses used since the beginning of the Vaccination Programme have been provided to the farmers by the Ministry of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries, free of cost.

 

During 2002, the following suspicious reports have been attended, with the corresponding diagnosis:

 

 

SUSPICIOUS CASES ATTENDED

1/01/02 TO 22/03/02

DATE DEPARTMENT REGION DIAGNOSIS

3/01/02 MONTEVIDEO COLORADA CATHARRAL FEVER

28/01/02 MONTEVIDEO MELILLA ACTINOBACILLOSIS

13/02/02 RIO NEGRO M. PORRZA ACTINOBACILLOSIS

15/02/02 PAYSANDZ RABON VACC. REACTION

19/02/02 COLONIA. PICHINANGO ACTINOBACILLOSIS

26/02/02 ROCHA ROCHA ACTINOBACILLOSIS

04/03/02 SAN JOSE CHAMIZO VIRAL DIARRHEA

 

 

Note: for further information please refer to OIE Sanitary Information, Uruguayan reports on FMD (www.oie.int).