Sheep pox and goat pox outbreaks in Greece

Figure 1. Outbreaks of Sheep pox and goat pox in mixed flocks (sheep and goats) and only sheep flocks in the period of September-October 2017
Figure 1. Outbreaks of Sheep pox and goat pox in mixed flocks (sheep and goats) and only sheep flocks in the period of September-October 2017

On 18 September 2017, the Head, Animal Health Directorate, Ministry of Rural Development and Food of Athens, Greece, notified the OIE of two sheep pox and goat pox outbreaks in Lesvos Island, Voreio Aigaio Province.

The date of start of the event was on 5 September and the outbreaks were confirmed on 7 September 2017. The National Laboratory, Athens Veterinary Center, confirmed the positivity in 42 animals (17 sheep/goats + 25 sheep) by RT-PCR test. Sixteen (11 + 5) of these animals died and the remaining 314 (69 + 245) were killed; the carcasses, by-products and waste were disposed of under official control.


Subsequently, on 3 October, three more outbreaks were reported on the same island and affected five goats, two of which died and the remaining 256 were killed and disposed of. In March 2015, December 2016, and January 2017 other clinical outbreaks were reported in the same island in mixed flocks (sheep and goats) and/or only sheep. In addition, the disease occurred in Israel in January 2017 and in Egypt in May 2017.


The re-emergence of Sheep pox and goat pox in the Island of Lesvos, considering that is an exotic disease in the rest of the European Union, confirms that the geographical area of the southeastern Europe continues to represent a possible route for the introduction of exotic diseases.In fact, Lumpy Skin disease has also followed a similar path where outbreaks were reported in Georgia, Greece, Albania and Macedonia (FYROM) in the years 2016-2017.

© IZSAM October 2017
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