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Thousands of livestock succumb to foot-mouth disease: WHO

Despite recent spate of animal deaths, World Health Organisation says foot-and-mouth disease represents 'no threat' to human population

Ahram Online, Wednesday 21 Mar 2012
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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced that the recent appearance of foot-and-mouth disease had led to the death of thousands of heads of livestock.

According to a new WHO report, Egypt has been wracked by hysteria since the disease first appeared in the country in February. Fears are particularly rampant in the Nile Delta governorate of Gharbiya, where much of the public is refraining from consuming meat.

The WHO has stressed, however, that the disease is rarely transmitted to humans, noting that there have only been 40 cases of human infection since 1921. According to the report, the disease represents "no threat" to human populations.

Earlier this week, reports emerged that at least 84 animals had succumbed to the disease since it first appeared in Egypt, with at least 486 documented cases of animal infection.

The disease has reportedly been found in 25 governorates throughout the country, resulting in several animal deaths, prompting fears in some quarters that Egyptian livestock populations could be decimated or – in a worst-case scenario – wiped out entirely.

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