Veterinary Experts Assist DPRK Korea With Livestock Disease Outbreak
Veterinary experts from the United Nations and the World Organisation for Animal Health are assisting the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in responding to outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease among pigs and cattle.
Working with DPRK veterinary officials, the team is assessing the situation on the ground and will provide guidance and technical assistance to help contain outbreaks and stop the disease from spreading, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) stated in a news release.
Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is highly contagious and affects cattle, buffaloes, sheep, goats, pigs and other cloven-hoofed animals.
While it does not pose a direct health threat to humans, affected animals become too weak to be used to plough the soil or reap harvests, and farmers cannot sell the milk they produce, which can severely impact household food security, noted FAO.
In addition to helping to tackle the outbreaks, the joint mission, which began on 28 February, will also assist with longer-term prevention planning.
In January FAO notified veterinary and border authorities in Asia of a major outbreak of FMD in the Republic of Korea, urging them to be on the look-out for livestock showing signs of infection by the disease.
One of the early signs in infected animals is the excessive production of saliva and nasal discharges. The FMD virus may survive for several hours outside the infected animal, especially in cold and humid environments.
The mission to the DPRK is expected to last about 10 to 14 days, according to FAO.
Source: United Nations
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