Ovine rinderpest kills red deer in northern Iran

May 25, 2019 - 21:23

TEHRAN — Some 6 red deer lost their lives due to an outbreak of ovine rinderpest, a contagious disease of cattle, sheep, and goats, in Talesh county located in northern Gilan province, ISNA reported on Friday.

According to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) ovine rinderpest commonly known as Peste des Petits Ruminants (PPR) or sheep and goat plague, is a highly contagious animal disease affecting small ruminants. Once introduced, the virus can infect up to 90 percent of an animal heard, and the disease kills anywhere from 30 to 70 percent of infected animals. The PPR virus does not infect humans. 

Following the spread of the infection in a forest park in province of Gilan, some 6 carcasses of red deer have been found, attempts were made to carry out investigation on the carcasses for precise determination.

Provincial department of environment took measures to reduce the spread of infections by vaccinating the rest of the species in the park as well as disinfecting the lands and watering troughs, the report added.

The disease was first spotted in Iran in late 1370s (1997-2000), following the smuggling of domestic livestock to the country, the most recent one was in July 2018 that has led to death of 70 heads of rams and wild goats in the Rochon area in Khabr national park in Kerman province.

PPR was first described in 1942 in Côte d'Ivoire. Since then the disease has spread to large regions in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Today, more than 70 countries have confirmed PPR within their borders, and many countries are at risk of the disease being introduced. These regions are home to approximately 1.7 billion heads – roughly 80 percent – of the global population of sheep and goats.

According to World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) standard disease control measures consisting of quarantine, movement control, sanitary slaughter, and cleaning and disinfection should be applied to prevent or control the disease. The virus is susceptible to most disinfectants. There are no medications available to treat the disease, but supportive treatment may decrease mortality. A vaccine is used where the disease is established and it provides good immunity.