New Strain Mad Cow
Kills 65% Afghan Livestock?
From Patricia Doyle, PhD

Hello. Jeff - This report is amazing. IF a form of mad cow disease can kill off almost 65% of Afghanistan's livestock, we might have an extremely virulent strain or a new mad cow disease.
Perhaps, if it is found that mad cow disease, the pathogen being infectious prions, has caused this outbreak, there might be contributing factors, like depleated uranium, that alters the animal proteins more rapidly.
At this time, given the brevity of information provided, I tend to think that we have a language translation problem. The disease named here "Mad Cow Disease" may not be the actual illness infecting the livestock. They may even be using the terms Mad Cow Disease and mean Foot and Mouth Disease.
When more information becomes available, I will update you immediately.
Patricia Doyle
From ProMED-mail
Animal Epidemic Spreads To Badakhshan

The Pak Tribune
Nearly 65 percent of the animal livestock in northeastern Badakshan province have died after contracting a form of mad-cow disease from cattle exported from Pakistan, said the head of the agriculture and livestock department, Eng. Mohammad Hassan. The disease has affected mainly animals in the districts of Shahr-e-Bozurg, Khiwa, Arghanshas and Wardaj.
"This disease, which was 1st discovered in Badakhshan 2 years ago, has been transmitted from commercial animals from Pakistan and other provinces. We have many problems with agriculture and farming, and there is only one veterinary surgeon in Faizabad city with nobody in the districts," he said. He warned that, if the disease was not controlled, it could spread throughout Faizabad.
A resident of Shahr-e-Bozurg talked to Pajhwok at the agriculture department. "I have 800 sheep, out of which, 750 are healthy so far, but 50 have died due to the epidemic," he said. He said there is no veterinary surgeon in his region to treat the animals.
Badakhshan province is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, situated in the northeast, bordering Pakistan on the southeast and Tajikistan on the north and northeast.
The said newswire is rather ambiguous, describing a "form of mad-cow disease," allegedly introduced by cattle from Pakistan 2 years ago, which has been causing mortality of (not less than!) 65 percent in "animal livestock" (cattle and sheep?) in 4 districts of Badakhashan. One may assume that (one or more) disease entities, infectious or otherwise, might prevail in the region, causing (significant?) mortality. Probably, some of the cases are manifested by nervous symptoms.
In contrast, the reported lack of veterinary support in the area seems to be unambiguous (room for welcome intervention of VSF (Veterinaires sans frontiers)?!). Veterinary investigations are required, initially to rule out highly infectious diseases (such as FMD and rinderpest) as well as zoonoses. Their results will be appreciated. - Mod.AS
ProMED mail thanks Dr. Andres M Perez for submission of the same article - Mod.MPP
Patricia A. Doyle, PhD
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