Published Date: 2021-02-16 18:41:10
Subject: PRO/AH> Foot & mouth disease - Syria: (HA) livestock, spread, Iraq susp, RFI
Archive Number: 20210216.8194894
FOOT & MOUTH DISEASE - SYRIA: (AL HASAKAH) LIVESTOCK, SPREAD, IRAQ SUSPECTED, REQUEST FOR INFORMATION
A ProMED-mail post http://www.promedmail.org
ProMED-mail is a program of the International Society for Infectious Diseases http://www.isid.org
Date: Tue 16 Feb 2021
Source: A subscriber whose identity is known to ProMED, but who prefers to remain unnamed [edited]
According to an unofficial/media report [see in the commentary below], there is a widespread [outbreak] of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in northeastern Syria. Per the news article, veterinary doctor Adnan Hamed from Derik in the far north and east of Syria told Shafaq News: "The disease has spread widely throughout Syria, especially in the areas administered by the Autonomous Administration in northern and eastern Syria." Hamed stated, "The Russian vaccine used to come from Damascus and be distributed to the health and agricultural extension directorates in the region, and it has been missing for more than 3 months. The Turkish and Iranian vaccines are not useful, and the lack of the necessary Russian vaccine may lead to a real disaster in the region, and we appeal to the competent health authorities to secure the vaccine as soon as possible."
On the other hand, weather conditions in this time of the year are more favorable for the spread of the disease as well as the lack of movement restrictions in the war-torn affected region. According to FAO (July-September 2020 report), FMDV serotypes in Syria belong to Pool 3 (West Eurasia and Middle East), which includes serotypes A, Asia 1, and O (SAT 2 reported only in Oman in 2017). Endemic pools represent independently circulating and evolving foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) genotypes; within the pools, cycles of emergence and spread occur that usually affect multiple countries in the region. In the absence of specific reports, it should be assumed that the serotypes indicated are continuously circulating in parts of the pool area and would be detected if sufficient surveillance were in place.
[The cited source (Shafaq News, in Arabic, at https://tinyurl.com/5h56ktqj) also includes information about animal movements within the tri-border area shared by Iraq, Turkey, and Syria. It says that animal movement restrictions have been undertaken on 14 Feb  by the authorities in Faysh Khabur (Iraq's Kurdistan region; map at https://tinyurl.com/4tzgxal5) regarding livestock passage through the Semalka border crossing (located in the territory of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (NES), also known as Rojava/Syrian Kurdistan; map at https://tinyurl.com/jxjk4s6t). This may mean that the Syrian FMDV strain is currently threatening, or already circulating, territories in southeast Turkey and northwest Iraq.
It will be interesting to note if the mentioned FMD virus strain is similar to the FMDV genotyped O/ME-SA/PanAsia-2, which has been reported since 1 Jan 2021 as affecting Israel's cattle and goat herds pasturing along or kept adjacent to the Lebanese and Syrian borders. It causes numerous mortalities in kids (juvenile goats). The most recent follow-up report, notifying 2 new outbreaks in cattle and goats on the Lebanese border, was submitted 13 Feb 2021. So far, 11 outbreaks have been reported: 10 along the Lebanese border and one closer to the Syrian border. One of the outbreaks involved deer. OIE's summary of this Israeli event, including links to the updates and a summarizing map, is available at https://tinyurl.com/247ya69j.
Laboratory confirmation and information on the results of serotyping and genotyping of the causative agent are requested. - Mod.AS
Al-Hasakah, Al-Hasakah Governorate, Syria: http://healthmap.org/promed/p/33136