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New type of FMD spreads to Gaza Strip

A new strain of FMD has struck the Gaza Strip and threatens to spread further after being initially detected in Egypt and Libya in February, says the FAO, adding that sick animals were found on April 19 in Rafah, a town on the border between the coastal enclave and Egypt.

An Agriculture Ministry official in Gaza said that farmers have been given 20,000 doses of vaccine to combat the disease and minimize the seriousness of the outbreak. "The problem arose on a farm in Rafah and we isolated the farm and stopped the movement of animals across the Gaza Strip," Adel Attalah told Reuters.

"If FMD goes deeper into the Middle East, it could spread over vast areas, threatening the Gulf countries - even southern and eastern Europe, and perhaps beyond," said Juan Lubroth, Veterinary Director at the FAO.

Information provided by Reuters

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