The re-emergence of rinderpest virus in East Africa in 1979 caused widespread outbreaks of disease and subclinical infection throughout the region until mid-1983. Subsequent massive emergency vaccination campaigns have been successful in eliminating clinical rinderpest from Tanzania and preventing its spread southwards. Unfortunately the virus is still endemic in north-eastern Uganda and has recently caused epidemic outbreaks with high mortality in cattle in that country. In Kenya, buffaloes (Syncerus caffer) in and around the Masai Mara game reserve have developed antibodies to rinderpest virus as recently as late 1984. Although there have been no outbreaks of clinical disease in Tanzania or Kenya from April 1983 to the end of 1985 this serological evidence plus the increasing incidence of clinical outbreaks in Uganda indicate that rinderpest virus still threatens East Africa. The substantial aid which has been provided to the region for rinderpest control must be maintained.
- British Veterinary Association. All rights reserved.
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