Public Alert No. 0002/2019 – Alert on Outbreak of Foot-and-Mouth Disease in Limpopo, South Africa

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has been informed of positive laboratory results for Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) in cattle in the Vhembe District of Limpopo, South Africa.

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Republic of South Africa in a media release on 8th January, 2019 stated that the outbreak was reported to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) on 7th January, 2019.

Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) is a severe and highly contagious animal disease caused by a virus belonging to the Picornaviridae family. The disease affects cattle, pigs (domestic and wild), sheep, goats, and other cloven hoofed animals. The symptoms of the disease in infected animals include fever and blister-like sores in the mouth, on the teats and between the hooves.

As a result of the outbreak of the disease, the official World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) recognized FMD-free status of South Africa is temporarily suspended.

The risk of FMD being transmitted to humans is low. But it can be transmitted through consumption of unpasteurized milk, dairy or unprocessed meat from infected animals or as a result of direct contact with infected animals.

Symptoms in humans include tingling blisters on hands, feet and mouth; sore throat and fever. These symptoms are mostly mild and self-limiting and can be alleviated by over-the counter medicines such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen. For children, the fever may lasts long, however, aspirin should not be used for their treatment.

NAFDAC has strengthened surveillance at all ports of entry to prevent importation of dairy or meat products from South Africa. The Agency has also heightened surveillance to prevent distribution and sale of unpasteurized milk, diary or meat products from infected animals.

All importers are implored to stop importation of dairy or meat products from South Africa.

Anybody with information on importation of dairy or meat products from South Africa during the outbreak of this disease should contact the nearest NAFDAC office, NAFDAC PRASCOR (20543 TOLL FREE from all networks) or via pharmacovigilance@nafdac.gov.ng.

NAFDAC…………..Safeguarding the health of the nation!!!