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Anthrax outbreaks: a warning for heightened awareness











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    Book (series)
    Rift Valley fever outbreaks in Madagascar and potential risks to neighbouring countries 2008
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    Rift Valley fever (RVF) is an arthropod-borne viral disease of ruminants, camels and humans. It is a significant zoonosis which may present itself from an uncomplicated influenza-like illness to a haemorrhagic disease with severe liver involvement and ocular or neurological lesions. In animals, RVF may be unapparent in non-pregnant adults, but outbreaks are characterised by the onset of a large number of abortions and high neonatal mortality. The virus (Phlebovirus) is usually transmitted by var ious arthropods. Human infections have also resulted from the bites of infected mosquitoes, most commonly the Aedes mosquito. Mosquitoes from six genera (Aedes, Culex, Mansonia, Anopheles, Coquillettidia and Eretmapodites), including more than 30 species, have been recorded as infected, and some of them are proven to have a role as vectors. Most of these species acquire the infection by biting infected vertebrate animals, but some (specifically Aedes spp.) pass the virus transovarially (vertical transmission). These infected pools of eggs can survive through desiccation for months or years and restart transmission after flooding; then other species (Culex spp.) may be involved as secondary vectors. Vertical transmission (from an infected female mosquito to eggs) explains how the virus can persist for many years or decades between outbreaks.
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    Newsletter
    Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) regional awareness
    No. 2 - 2007
    2007
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    This issue of Focus On, the latest addition to FAO’s Emergency Prevention System (EMPRES) publications, looks into porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS), which was first recognized in the United States in 1987 although its description had appeared in some countries years earlier, is now found in almost all swine producing countries. A number of PRRS outbreaks have occurred recently in South Africa, Russia, China and Viet Nam. The disease, which represents a worldwide threat, is ch aracterized by reproductive failure of sows and respiratory distress of piglets and fattening pigs which, combined with a potential for rapid spread, can cause significant production and economic losses. Two major antigenic types of the virus exist, the European and the American type. Some of the reports from Asia, where the PRRS virus has been isolated, describe a disease of swine with high mortality in different age groups. The key elements for prevention, control and eradication of PRRS are e arly detection and rapid laboratory confirmation, quick identification of infected farms, and rapid response through a variety of stamping out strategies and the use of vaccines with proven efficacy. This "Focus on PRRS" recommends that veterinary services reinforce their capacity in PRRS surveillance and diagnosis by training veterinarians in disease recognition, and by initiating or reviewing contingency plans in the event of disease introduction. It is also important to update risk ass essments for PRRS and other transboundary swine diseases, giving adequate attention to the trade in live pigs for breeding, pork products and routes of infection such as semen or swill feeding with contaminated products from affected areas.
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    Book (series)
    Rift Valley Fever in Niger: Rapid Risk Assessment Report 2017
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    Since early August 2016, several human cases of Rift Valley fever (RVF), including some deaths, have been notified in Niger. According to the field investigations an increased mortality and abortions in small ruminants, cattle and camels have been observed. The impact of this outbreak on public health and animal husbandry of the affected area is considered serious. In addition, the risk of transboundary spread is arising a great concern in international organizations. Given the severe epidemiolo gical situation in Niger, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in consultation with international external experts, prepared a rapid qualitative risk assessment in order to evaluate the impact of this RVF outbreak in Niger in animal production and human health and to estimate the risks of short and medium term spread of the infection to the neighbouring countries. The developed rapid risk assessment is based on the information available until the 14th of October 20 16.

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