Zoonotic Diseases

Diseases discussed here have a history of use as an agent for biological warfare, either in the U.S. or abroad. Its use may have been experimental or actual, and any detrimental consequences upon humans, animals or the environment may have been intentional or not, depending on the circumstances, the point in time, and the nature of the disease.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

FMD Update / S. KOREA / NOW They Want Our Beef

You will recall the devastation the disease Foot and Mouth Disease wrought upon the beef industry in S. Korea? Most if not all of their meat animals were culled in an effort to stem it.

You will also recall a few years ago when S. Korea citizens came out in the thousands protesting in the streets against the importing of US beef; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ns3RJrooaGQ

Apparently NOW they cant get enough, but wasnt that the plan all along? What better way to get them to buy our meat other than to destroy their own?

U.S. beef imports jump amid foot-and-mouth disease

SEOUL, Feb. 6 (Yonhap) -- Imports of U.S. beef to South Korea rose sharply last year from one year ago, industry data showed Sunday, as the Asian country continues a three-month-long battle to contain foot-and-mouth disease (FMD).

According to the U.S. Meat Export Federation, South Korea imported 84,822 tons of U.S. beef in 2010, up 42.6 percent from one year ago.

The figure outnumbered the overall increase in beef imports to the country, indicating the revived popularity of the American beef, which lost ground in 2008 amid public opposition against U.S. beef imports on mad cow disease fears. The overall beef imports to South Korea rose 16.2 percent last year from 2009, according to the group.

U.S. beef accounted for 32.5 percent of South Korea's imported beef market last year, up 6 percentage points from 2009, it said. American beef also narrowed its gap with Australian beef, which claimed 53 percent of the market in the same year.

In the pork market, the U.S. product was the most popular here. South Korea purchased 75,362 tons of U.S. pork in 2010, accounting for 26.1 percent of the nation's imported pork consumption. Canadian pork was the runner-up with an 18.9 percent share.

Market watchers attributed the rising popularity of U.S. meat in South Korea to the spread of animal diseases that forced the nation to cull over 3 million livestock in the last three months, due to the most severe FMD outbreak in the country's history.

In December, imports of U.S. beef to South Korea spiked to nearly 2,500 tons a week, according to the federation.

The South Korean government estimates that FMD has incurred more than 2 trillion won (US$1.8 billion) of damage since the first outbreak of the disease was reported in November.

After conventional quarantine methods of culling animals failed, the local farm ministry has been vaccinating livestock since Dec. 25. There are some 3 million heads of cattle and 10 million pigs in the country.

"As local meat supplies decline due to the FMD and public concerns rise about the disease, South Korea is expected to increase their dependence on imported meat," an industry official said.

A South Korean consumer looks at U.S. beef in a local market. (Yonhap file photo)


A ProMED-mail post

ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Mon 24 Jan 2011
Source: Arriang News, Korean Global Television [edited]

2 million pigs and 130 000 cows were put down in recent weeks
following the massive outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease [FMD] in Korea.

In an effort to prevent the further spread of the disease, President
Lee Myung-bak announced plans to pursue domestic production of
anti-FMD vaccines. During his bi-weekly radio address on Monday [24
Jan 2011], President Lee said Korea will seek ways to develop vaccines
to prevent recurrences of the contagious disease and join Britain and
the Netherlands as the sole manufacturers of internationally-approved

[Interview: President Lee Myung-bak] "For now, the United Kingdom and
the Netherlands are the only countries manufacturing internationally
approved vaccines. But the government will actively review the
possibility of producing vaccines here in Korea."

Pointing out that over 8-million people have traveled back and forth
between Korea and FMD-prone countries in Asia, President Lee said that
vaccinations are the best policy to prevent future outbreaks of this
highly-contagious animal disease. However, the Korean leader added he
expected to see the situation under control before the Lunar New Year
holiday next week, thanks to emergency measures to vaccinate livestock.

[Interview : President Lee Myung-bak] "The 1st round of vaccinations
of all cattle and swine is expected to be completed by the end of this
month [January 2011]. We are hoping that the outbreak will be under
control before the Lunar New Year holiday."

Many FMD-hit regions across the nation are showing signs of easing as
the number of cattle and swine testing FMD positive has dropped
following Korea's securing of vaccines for 12 million head of
livestock last month [December 2010].

[Byline: Hwang Sung-hee]

Communicated by:

Date: Mon 24 Jan 2011
Source: Korea Times [edited]

President Lee Myung-bak called for the development of vaccines for
foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) Monday [24 Jan 2011] as a means to fight
the highly contagious animal disease. But analysts said it will take a
long time before the country could actually develop a vaccine of its
own, while its commercial viability remains unclear.

Lee's remark came as the disease has spread to most parts of the
country with over 2 million animals having been culled despite
nationwide quarantine operations, causing unprecedented financial
damage worth more than 2 trillion won [USD 1.784 billion].

"Examining the whole situation, I realize we're no longer safe from
the disease," President Lee said in a nationally televised speech. "As
the world is connected like a net, dangerous elements like the FMD
virus can spread globally very quickly. Traditional quarantine efforts
have limits, and vaccination is the best solution, given the

However, the development plan will not be an instant solution to the
current epidemic as it takes more than a year to produce a reliable
and accredited vaccine. Following the remark, the Ministry for Food,
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said it will form a taskforce to
review necessary steps. The National Veterinary Research and
Quarantine Service (NVRQS), a unit of the ministry, will undertake the

"We'll maintain the current quarantine efforts to tackle the epidemic,
and the development of a vaccine will be a precautionary measure for a
possible outbreak in the future," said an official from the NVRQS. "It
will be a long-term project that requires a lot of financial
investment and manpower."

The plan may also require the nation to give up its FMD-free status as
the development involves the handling of the deadly virus, the
official said [see comment].

In the past, South Korea, like many other countries, refrained from
using vaccines because of the high cost and concerns of the country
being unable to quickly regain FMD-free status, causing a negative
impact on both exports and imports.

Analysts are also skeptical as to whether the vaccines will be
commercially viable. They said it could be risky to deal with the
virus in the process of the development of the vaccine, and it will be
costly to build all the necessary facilities.

"President Lee seems to have made a hasty decision. It would have been
better if he had made it in March or April [2011] when the epidemic
would be under control," Park Bong-kyun, a professor at the College of
Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University, said. "Farmers can see
it as an action from the government to give up necessary quarantine
efforts and the country's FMD-free status, which will cause them
financial damage in the future."

He basically agreed on the development of a vaccine given the deadly
contagious characteristics of the disease. But he stressed that the
government should take a more careful stance as there are things that
should be examined such as the management of the facility that will
grow viruses and test the vaccine's safety and effectiveness.

It was not until last December [2010] that the government decided to
vaccinate all cows and pigs as the conventional quarantine efforts of
the mass culling of animals turned out to be ineffective. The local
biochemical industry is showing interest in President Lee's remark,
expecting that the government will come up with necessary supporting
measures for them.

"The vaccine development involves complicated procedures. Even if
you're successful in developing a vaccine, the test of its
effectiveness and safety is another complicated step," said a
spokesman from the Choongang Vaccine Laboratory. "There are many
things to cope with for the commercialization of vaccines."

[Byline: Kim Tae-jong]

Communicated by:

Date: Mon 24 Jan 2011
Source: Zenopa Animal Health Supplier News [edited]

Merial has highlighted the role played by its vaccine antigen banks in
Pirbright, Surrey in combating this winter's [2010-2011] international
(FMD) outbreak.

The facility was able to supply 1.2 million doses of FMD vaccines to
South Korea last month [December 2010] within 6 working days of taking
orders, thanks to the stocks of antigens held at Pirbright, instead of
the 4-plus months it otherwise would have taken.

Antigens are the active ingredients of vaccines, with a ready access
to the compounds being an essential part of combating FMD.

In addition to the South Korean outbreak, Zambia was also heavily
affected by the disease during December 2010, making it the most
significant epidemic of the last 10 years.

Merial Pirbright site director Dr Tim Doel said: "Operations were
taking place during a period of heavy snow ... We had our work cut
out, but I am pleased to say, we met all our obligations."

This comes after Merial announced earlier this month [January 2011]
that it is collaborating with GenVec to develop new FMD vaccines based
on cost-effective new technology.

Communicated by:
FMD News,
FMD Surveillance and Modeling Laboratory,
University of California at Davis,
California, USA

Date: Mon 24 Jan 2011
Source: Vets Web [edited]

South Korea has asked a few countries to donate emergency vaccines
against FMD, the disease that currently threatens the South Korean
livestock sector.

One of the countries that responded to the request to donate vaccines
is Belgium. The country donated 800 000 doses to help get the FMD
epidemic under control and to get the swine health status of South
Korea back on track.

Communicated by:
Sabine Zentis
Gut Laach
52385 Nideggen, Germany

[S. Korea, finding itself in the unfortunate situation of an FMD
epizootic apparently getting out of control, spreading throughout the
entire country in spite of culling more than 2.3 million animals,
decided to change its traditional policy of "no vaccination, stamping
out with culling of contiguous animals", to the other extreme, "mass
vaccination of all susceptible species without stamping out or with
modified, limited culling" policy. This brought about the demand for
the immediate supply of about 12 million doses FMD vaccine sereotype O
for the primary vaccination of cattle, pigs, small ruminants and deer.

Not being a member of any of the world's existing FMD-vaccine banks
(led by the vaccine banks of the EU, USA and Australia), it applied to
the vaccine banks and, through its embassies, to various countries
where FMD vaccine is used, requesting available quantities to be
urgently supplied. FMD vaccine banks keep, following experts' advice,
3 strains of the serotype O FMD virus: O Taiwan, O Manisa and O BFS as
frozen FMD antigen (see ref below). Luckily, O Manisa seems to confer
protection against the SEA topotype currently circulating in eastern
Asia, and quantities of the antigen have become available, with the
USA, according to unofficial information, leading with about 5 million
doses contributed to S. Korea.

The frozen antigen has to be flown to Pirbright, where it is
reconstituted into an applicable vaccine for field use, with oil
adjuvant or with aluminum hydroxide as adjuvants. The latter is known
to confer earlier immunity of shorter duration, while protection by
oil-adjuvant vaccines takes longer to be established but is generally
of longer duration; both will require, eventually, booster vaccinations.

A worse scenario would have been a case when a new field strain
appears, against which none of the available, frozen batches confer
satisfactory protection.

The OIE formed in 2004 an ad-hoc group on vaccines and antigen banks
which provided the basis of a new chapter in the OIE Manual, namely
Chapter 1.1.10. "Guidelines For International Standards For Vaccine
Banks." The text is available at

In addition, OIE's Manual chapter on FMD has been revised, adding
article 6: "Storage and monitoring of antigen concentrates," (at

Further reading: "FMD Antigen And Formulated Vaccine Reserves - EUFMD
Survey April 2009," by Dr K. Sumption, available online at
. -

[see also:
Foot & mouth disease - S. Korea (05): update 20110117.0202
Foot & mouth disease - S Korea (04): update, RFI 20110115.0181
Foot & mouth disease - S. Korea (03): spread, vaccination 20110110.0117
Foot & mouth disease - S. Korea (02): update 20110106.0072
Foot & mouth disease - S. Korea: spread, vaccination 20110103.0032
Foot & mouth disease - S. Korea (25): update, alert 20101229.4587
Foot & mouth disease - S. Korea (24): spread, vaccination, RFI 20101228.4575
Foot & mouth disease - S. Korea (23): spread, vaccination 20101227.4557
Foot & mouth disease - S. Korea (22): OIE follow-up, vaccination 20101225.4546
Foot & mouth disease - S. Korea (21): (KW, GB) susp. 20101222.4502
Foot & mouth disease - S. Korea (20): (KG), update 20101220.4489
Foot & mouth disease - S. Korea (19): (KB, KG), update 20101217.4460
Foot & mouth disease - S. Korea (18): (KB, KG), OIE follow-up 20101215.4446
Foot & mouth disease - S. Korea (17): (KG) spread 20101215.4442
Foot & mouth disease - S. Korea (16): (KB), update 20101213.4429
Foot & mouth disease - S. Korea (15): (KB), spread 20101211.4414
Foot & mouth disease - S. Korea (14): (KB) OIE follow-up 20101209.4393
Foot & mouth disease - S. Korea (13): (KB) spread 20101206.4369
Foot & mouth disease - S. Korea (12): (KB), update 20101204.4348
Foot & mouth disease - S. Korea (11): (GN) update 20101201.4321
Foot & mouth disease - S Korea (10): (KB), porcine, bovine, st O 20101130.4312
Foot & mouth disease - S Korea (09): (KB) OIE 20101130.4301
Foot & mouth disease - S Korea (08): (KB) recurs, RFI 20101129.4296]
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