Turkey: 217 cases of foot-and-mouth disease detected
Cihan PhotoThere have been 217 cases in a new foot-and-mouth disease outbreak since Sept. 29, Faruk Çelik, minister for food, agriculture and livestock said on Dec. 16.
Speaking at a press conference, Çelik said 117 of these outbreaks are under control while 100 others are still active.
“We don’t need to panic, as we have been taking all necessary actions to keep the disease under control,” Çelik said, as quoted by Anadolu Agency.
These actions included producing vaccines for the virus, he added.
Çelik said the virus had first been detected in the eastern Van province.
Since then, 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) around the affected area have been quarantined, with livestock barred from both leaving and entering the area.
Livestock in the area have been vaccinated and livestock markets have been closed.
“We have produced 4.6 million doses of vaccine so far and sent them to all the provinces,” Çelik said.
“As foot-and-mouth disease has spread over several countries other than Turkey, the European Commission for the Control of Foot-and-Mouth disease [EuFMD] of the Food and Agriculture Organization [FAO] of the U.N. has taken action. The commission has requested five million doses of the vaccine to be made by Turkey so far. We will do our best to battle this disease in these affected countries,” the minister said.
Meanwhile, the livestock market of the Central Anatolian province of Eskişehir was closed down on Dec. 15 due to a number of cases detected, as reported by Doğan News Agency.
The Province Animal Health Control Commission said the market will be closed until a second notification in a written statement.
“A new virus, which has been unseen in Turkey, was detected in Van in September and this virus, which has spread at a rapid pace, was first seen in our province on Nov. 23,” said the statement, adding that new cases were then detected in other districts.
“As we have seen the virus spread in a very rapid manner both in Eskişehir and in our neighboring provinces, and some cases have been seen in the Tepebaşı district where our cattle market is located, a commission was established under the leadership of Vice Governor Bekir Şahin Tütüncü to discuss the issue. The commission has decided to close down the market to prevent further infections,” added the statement.
A number of provinces and districts have also been imposing quarantines to thwart the spread of the infection since September.