Monday, August 20, 2018

PRO/AH/EDR> Anthrax - France (03): (PR) livestock

ANTHRAX - FRANCE (03): (PROVENCE-ALPES-COTE D'AZUR) LIVESTOCK
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Date: Mon 20 Aug 2018
Source: Agence France-Presse (AFP) [edited]
<https://www.afp.com/en/news/205/worst-anthrax-outbreak-20-years-hits-french-farms-doc-18h2py1>


More than 50 cows, sheep, and horses have died in France's most
serious outbreak of anthrax in 2 decades, according to officials who
have warned of a vaccine shortage. Authorities in the mountainous
Hautes-Alpes [Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur] region of southeastern
France said the infection, which can spread to humans and is deadly in
its rarest forms, had spread to 28 farms since June [2018].

French vets have been battling to contain the outbreak because the
Spanish laboratory which produces the vaccines has been closed
throughout August [2018] for the summer vacation. "The state is in
talks with its European partners to discuss the availability and
purchase of vaccines" which other countries may have stockpiled, said
senior regional official Agnes Chavanon [Sun 19 Aug 2018].

Cases of anthrax being passed on to humans are "extremely rare", said
Christine Ortmans, a doctor with regional health agency ARS. No one
has been reported ill during the current outbreak, she stressed. [Not
"extremely rare." This depends on circumstances, but as anthrax is now
sporadic in Europe the expectation of human cases is slight. But as
farmers are now less experienced with this disease, they are more
likely to do stupid things putting themselves and their stockmen at
risk. - Mod.MHJ]

Senior Hautes-Alpes official Serge Cavalli said animals were being
vaccinated at affected farms in the region. Those [herds] hit have
been banned from production for at least 21 days while the farms are
disinfected, and to provide time for the vaccinated animals to become
immune. Any milk on site is pasteurised and then destroyed.

The last serious French outbreak was in 2008 when anthrax spread to 23
farms, most of them in the eastern Doubs area.

The 1st case in the current outbreak was detected in the village of
Montgardin on [28 Jun 2018], killing 6 cows, and has since spread to
12 others [cows or herds? - Mod.MHJ]. Cows struck by anthrax swell in
the abdomen and bleed from their orifices, and often die in less than
24 hours. The disease is fairly rare, although more than 100 cases
have been registered at French farms since 1999 -- often during hot
summers after periods of heavy rain.

The ARS said 103 people in the Hautes-Alpes region had been flagged as
having potentially come into contact with infected animals, most of
them farmers, vets or slaughterhouse workers. Half have been given
preventative antibiotics, according to officials.

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Communicated by:
ProMED-mail
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[There is confusion in the numbers of animals and farms affected. This
report seems to have been assembled from a number of sources. But the
opening statements have over 50 head of various livestock clinically
acutely affected on some 28 farms. This spread is typical of summer
epidemics when biting flies (tabanids) are involved as they can take
the infection from herd to herd, from neighbouring pastures to some
15+ kms out.

In Europe it is traditional to go on holiday in August. Thus, the
Spanish vaccine may be unavailable. However, a good source is
Dr Antonio Fasanella
Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale of Puglia & Basilicata
Via Manfredonia 20
I-71100 Foggia (Puglia)
Italy
Off Tel. (+39) 0881-786 330; mobile (+39) 347-3121 555
<a.fasanella@izsfg.it>.

Antonio is Chief of Anthrax Reference Institute of Italy and
responsible for producing Sterne vaccine for his country. With luck he
will have some to spare. And he is exceptionally competent.

French reports can be found at:
<https://www.sciencesetavenir.fr/animaux/animaux-d-elevage/importante-epidemie-d-anthrax-dans-le-departement-des-hautes-alpes_126816>
<https://www.sciencesetavenir.fr/sante/resurgence-inedite-de-l-anthrax-dans-les-paturages-des-hautes-alpes_126813>
- Mod.MHJ

HealthMap/ProMED-mail map of Hautes-Alpes, Provence-Alpes-Côte
d'Azur, France: <http://healthmap.org/promed/p/19183>]

[See Also:
Anthrax - France (02): (PR) bovine
http://promedmail.org/post/20180806.5950106
Anthrax - France: (MO,HA) bovine, OIE
http://promedmail.org/post/20180716.5908970]
.................................................mhj/mj/lxl
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