Article Text

Re-emergence of rinderpest as a threat in East Africa since 1979
  1. PB Rossiter,
  2. DM Jessett,
  3. JS Wafula,
  4. L Karstad,
  5. S Chema,
  6. WP Taylor,
  7. L Rowe,
  8. JC Nyange,
  9. M Otaru,
  10. M Mumbala and
  11. al. et

Abstract

Following the success of the JP15 scheme and subsequent annual vaccination campaigns, East Africa was virtually free of rinderpest after the mid 1960s and the disease was considered beaten. However, economic difficulties have recently reduced the expensively maintained vaccine cover and the disease has reappeared throughout much of the region. In 1979 rinderpest was diagnosed in cattle in north eastern Uganda and caused considerable losses until finally brought under control in 1981. No field outbreaks of the disease in cattle have been seen in Kenya but there is serological evidence that the virus has recently infected unvaccinated sheep and goats and wild ungulates in that country. In 1982 rinderpest was confirmed in the laboratory as the cause of death of large numbers of buffaloes in northern Tanzania and implicated as the cause of a rinderpest-like disease of cattle which is reported to be still active in that area. Substantial aid is essential for further control and research if the virus is not again to become endemic in the region.

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