February 8, 2024


Rise in FMD outbreaks in North Africa



The European Commission for the Control of Foot and Mouth Disease (EuFMD) of the FAO has informed EU member states about the increase in foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreaks in several North African countries, including Algeria, Tunisia and Libya.


There is also a major change in the epidemiological situation with the recent detection of serotype SAT 2 as the cause of some of the outbreaks that have occurred. This serotype was hitherto only reported in Algeria.


Apart from the constant risk of incursion into the European Union posed by the circulation of these serotypes in the region, the recent confirmation of serotype SAT 2 in Algeria is of priority interest as vaccination programmes which these countries are applying are focused on serotypes A and O and do not include effective vaccine strains for this serotype SAT 2 — with the exception of Tunisia that is using a vaccine strain that could have some efficacy against it.


On the other hand, due to the upcoming Ramadan period in North Africa, an intensification of animal movement in the area is expected.


Although the risk is always present, the aforementioned facts represent an increased risk of incursion of FMD.


In response, Spain's Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPA) had recommended strong precautions to reduce the risk of virus introduction into the country and Europe.


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