Health officials in Argentina have reported an outbreak of foot and mouth disease of cattle, near the border close to Paraguay. More than 70 cattle have been found to show infection signs in the Corrientes province, according to reports by National Service for Food Safety and Quality.
The origin of the outbreak is yet to be identified and is believed to affect export of beef to a great extent. Similar outbreak of the disease that had occurred five years ago in Argentina, World's leading beef exporter, drastically reduced the export quality and quantity.
In an effort to restrict the spread of the disease, health officials have sealed off an 8 sq mile, adjacent to the region of outbreak. More than 3000 cattle may have been infected in the opinion of Jorge Amaya, Head, National Service for Food Safety and Quality.
The highly contagious disease can affect sheep, cows, goat and pigs. It does not affect human beings however. The disease can affect trade of meat as in interferes with reproduction and meat production.
Managing the disease has been more troublesome for neighboring Latin American countries, Brazil and Paraguay. The reluctance of the concerned health officials to actively participate in restricting the spread of foot and mouth disease could be one possible reason to account for the observation.
With active measures being taken up by health officials in Argentina, the situation is likely to improve in the forth-coming weeks.