The Ministry of Agriculture, Food Technology and Natural Resources of Mauritius reported to the OIE on October 04, 2000 an outbreak of lumpy skin disease. Lumpy skin disease is caused by a poxvirus. The initial diagnosis was based on clinical signs, and the laboratory diagnosis was based on electron microscopy by the Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute in South Africa.
Insects and arthropods have been suspected in the transmission of lumpy skin disease, but evidence for their role is weak. Apparently one report was published in 1968 about isolation of the virus from hides (both salted and air-dried hides). However, most imported animal products probably do not pose a risk for transmission of lumpy skin disease. The source of the outbreak in Mauritius was reported to be due to importation of cattle from " . . . . a country on the African continent." Control measures include slaughter, vaccination, restriction of animal movements, and application of insecticides.
Live animals that are susceptible to lumpy skin disease were not imported into the U.S. from Mauritius in 1998, 1999, and year 2000 (as of July). The only products of animal origin that were imported were 4,300 kilograms of food for animals. The specific species of origin of this food is not known. The food products, valued at $35,000, were imported during 1998 only. The only live animals imported into the U.S. from Mauritius were 1,500 primates in 1998, 4,800 primates in 1999, and 2000 primates in year 2000. Primates are not naturally susceptible to lumpy skin disease. Travelers are not a risk for transmission of lumpy skin disease.
CEI does not plan to prepare a complete impact worksheet about this outbreak of lumpy skin disease in Mauritius. You may contact Reginald Johnson at 970-490-7896, if you have questions.
Barnard et al. IN: Coetzer et al. Infectious Diseases of Livestock -- With Special Reference to South Africa. 1994.
Weiss. FAO Agricultural Bulletin No. 61. 1968.
World Trade Atlas U.S. Edition. July, 2000.