Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) has spread to Kenya. This is according to the Kenyan Ministry of Agriculture that recently issued an alert through the State Department of Livestock. According to an article by the Daily Nation the spread was caused by the ineffectiveness of old vaccines, low vaccination coverage as well as uncontrolled livestock movement. Another reason for the spread is the likelihood of a new strain of FMD that is unresponsive to the current vaccines available, according to the Director of Veterinary Services, Dr. Obadiah Njagi.
“Some of the outbreaks were linked to an apparent new variant of serotype O that has hitherto not been detected in the country but is in circulation in neighbouring nations. The current vaccine may, therefore, have appeared to be unprotective,” said Dr. Njagi.
The article further explains that farmers have been using a water-based vaccine which has a short shelf-life, must be administered three times a year as its immunity lasts only 3-4 months and is expensive, all of which contributed to the spread of the disease. –Ursula Human, Stockfarm