Australian’s training in Nepal continues
14 January 2016
Twelve Australians recently participated in a 'real-time' training course on Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in regional Nepal.
Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) District Veterinary Officer, Dr Jeff Cave was one of those who participated.
"This was the 16th FMD related course held in Nepal, in doing so increasing the number of Australians with first-hand experience," Dr Cave said.
"This was my second experience with dealing with FMD in the field, having worked in United Kingdom during the 2001 outbreak.
"The focus of studying FMD in the field is fine-tuning the recognition of clinical signs and characteristic lesions of the disease, as well as the aging of those lesions and recognising there is often more than one age of lesion in a herd or even an individual animal.
"These skills will be essential for estimating when infection entered a herd for tracing purposes, plus determining appropriate samples to collect and tests to run according to the stage of disease."
Dr Cave said the process for entry and exit from a potentially infected property was practised and participants gained an appreciation of how FMD behaves in the Nepalese setting.
"FMD is a severe disease even in a country like Nepal where it is endemic. There is every likelihood a traveller would be exposed to it when visiting a rural area in an endemic country without realising it.
"It is therefore vital that travellers and tourists make sure all their clothing and footwear in particular, is clean before returning to Australia."
During the training Dr Cave wore biosecure clothing and footwear during the farm visits, which was disinfected when leaving the farm.
Dr Cave left all footwear and clothing associated with the training in Nepal, disinfected his other clothing prior to leaving, and didn't have contact with any susceptible animals for at least a week after his return.
If Australia had an outbreak it would potentially cost the country's economy billions of dollars as well as causing untold stress in its rural communities.
Therefore, if you notice unusual disease symptoms, abnormal behaviour or unexpected deaths in your stock, immediately call your veterinarian, district veterinary officer, or the Emergency Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888.
Categorised under: Agriculture,Biosecurity