With the foot-and-mouth disease
hitting several farmhouses in the Kingdom, fears are being expressed
by many about the killer virus infecting humans, especially after
reports that FMD cases have been detected in some Malaysian children.
Ministry official told Arab News that it was in touch with the World
Health Organization to know more about the transmission, if any, of
the disease from infected livestock to humans and the symptoms of the
disease among humans.
light of reports from the WHO, the ministry will take necessary
measures to prevent the spread of FMD among humans,” the official
said. The move comes after reports of foot-and-mouth cases having been
detected in 22 children in Malaysia. The disease has gone out of
control in Britain and hit several European, Asian and Latin American
Lingawi, director of health in Jeddah, has, however, allayed fears of
the disease spreading among humans. “We have not yet received any
information that confirms infection of humans. Since we have heard
reports of FMD cases among humans, we have to make sure how the virus
is transmitted to humans and what are its carriers. This will help us
take preventive measures,” he said.
reports have said that 100 calves have died at one farm in the eastern
town of Sihat, where more than 420 calves have been infected. There
have also been three new confirmed cases and five suspected cases
among cows and 20 suspected cases among sheep in Qateef. The Okaz
daily quoted Yousuf Abdul Wahed, director of the Agriculture and Water
Ministry’s office in Qateef, as saying that FMD has been endemic in
Qateef for over two decades.
on Thursday slapped a temporary ban on imports of beef and mutton, in
all forms and products, from Africa, Arabian Gulf, Syria, Jordan,
Yemen, Pakistan and China. In the wake of actions taken by the
Kingdom, the French government has moved swiftly to prove their animal
products were free from the disease.
Embassy in Riyadh said Paris had taken quick action to contain the
disease following the report of a single FMD case in Mayenne. “The
farm which imported sheep from Britain has been put under supervision.
We have also slaughtered all sheep imported from Britain as well as
animals suspected of having come in contact with British sheep,” it
The embassy said
that French chicken and horses were not affected by FMD. “The
products that undergo thermal treatment, like in the case of
pasteurization, pose no danger,” it added.