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New outbreak of foot-and-mouth confirmed
(China Daily/chinadaily.com.cn)
Updated: 2005-12-31 07:03

China confirmed Friday an outbreak of Asia Type One foot-and-mouth disease in a farm in East China's Shandong Province.

Ninety-one cattle have been culled in the farm in the Changqing District in the provincial capital of Jinan where the outbreak was reported.

Some cattle on a farm developed symptoms of bad appetite and fever on December 6, and 48 cattle had fallen ill by December 25, Xinhua News Agency reported.

The provincial veterinary bureau reported the case to the health ministry after initial tests on December 26. It was confirmed by the state laboratory for foot-and-mouth disease control on Dec. 29.

Apart from culling the entire herd which the sick cattle belonged to, the Shandong provincial government and the Ministry of Agriculture also ordered an immediate disinfection and quarantine of the outbreak site, as well as a thorough inoculation of all vulnerable animals in the region.

Epidemic monitoring to be enhanced

Every village in China should have an epidemic monitoring worker next year, to ensure animal disease and death in remote rural areas can be reported and diagnosed in a timely fashion.

A contingency team consisting of experts will be set up under the Ministry of Agriculture to cope with major contagions among livestock.

These actions are among a raft of countermeasures the ministry plans for 2006 to effectively control any animal infections, chief veterinary officer Jia Youling said this week.

"As epidemics like bird flu and foot-and-mouth disease are likely to break out sporadically, the situation this winter and next spring still allows for no optimism, " he said.

Epidemic prevention and control could be arduous in 2006, Jia warned.

China reported 31 outbreaks of fatal bird flu among poultry in 2005. In July, streptococcus suis, a pig-borne bacteria, killed 38 people in Southwest China's Sichuan Province.

All outbreaks have been stamped out, according to ministry sources.
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