Foot-and-Mouth Disease Hits Cows in Svay Rieng

Authorities in Svay Rieng province on Wednesday said the latest outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease had been brought under control by timely treatment, though their numbers on how many cows the contagious virus had infected varied wildly.

Meas Sok, chief of Svay Chrum district’s Chhoeuteal commune, said about 200 cows were infected beginning last month and that speedy vaccinations had since brought the number down to 30.

But the deputy director of the province’s agriculture department, Sok Sotheavuth, put the peak number of infections at only 35. He said veterinarians started vaccinating the cows soon after the outbreak began and had continued the work.

“We went down there [on Monday] and gave the villagers medicine to treat the animals,” he said.

Sen Sovann, the Agriculture Ministry’s director of animal health and production, nearly split the difference, putting the number of infections at about 100.

And while the first two men said none of the infected cows had died, Mr. Sovann said two calves succumbed to the virus.

He said there were also outbreaks in Siem Reap and Kompong Thom provinces in March, but could not remember the numbers. The director said he had asked the government to order more than 20,000 doses of the vaccine to be ready for the peak months of June and July.

Foot-and-mouth disease is an annual occurrence in Cambodia. Symptoms include fever, blisters on the mouth and feet, weight loss and a drop in milk production.

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