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Kyrgyzstan - Biologycal Hazard on 2006-06-16 at 11:37:00


RSOE HAVARIA Situation Update No. 1
On 11.07.2006 at 16:49

Event: Biologycal Hazard
Location: Kyrgyzstan Osh, Jalal-Abad, Andijan Province


The discovery of foot-and-mouth disease in the northern Chui region of Kyrgyzstan late last week has led to the closure of cattle markets and the implementation of an initial 21-day quarantine period. "We have announced a quarantine in Chui oblast [province]. Currently we have this disease registered in three districts of Osh region, two districts in Djalal-Abad region and three districts of Chui region," Esenbai Seitov of the National Veterinary Service told IRIN in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek.

Seitov added that more than 500 cattle were now infected with the disease throughout Kyrgyzstan. Unofficial estimates put the figure at several times higher. Foot and mouth is an infectious disease affecting cloven-hoofed animals, in particular cattle, sheep, pigs, goats and deer. It can spread to humans. "For now there are no registered cases of people infected by foot and mouth, but if there is no preventative work, there is a danger that there will be human cases," said Tatiyana Samsonova, deputy head of Kyrgyzstan's Centre for Dangerous and Quarantine Infections in Bishkek.

The disease is spreading due to market economics. "Many people are bringing infected cattle into Chui oblast because at the bazaars there prices are higher. We are trying to stop the movement of cattle in and out of this region and introduce quarantine measures," Seitov added. But observers say the methods to contain the disease to date have been inadequate. "Cases of foot-and-mouth disease have been registered almost in all districts of Chui oblast. The quarantine measures are not working because people continue to trade and move cattle, particularly if they are making good money," explained Samsonova.

Tackling the disease is also being hampered by a lack of enforcement of veterinary standards as well as a lack of specialists and a shortage of vaccine. Officials are concerned that the lack of resources needed to contain the disease will lead to its spread. "We do not have enough vaccine. Ideally we need to vaccinate cows, sheep and pigs, but now we can only do cows. So we are expecting a rise in the disease soon," Seitov said.