Summary: On May 21, 1999, Turkmenistan reported an outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease to the Office International des Epizooties (OIE). Turkmenistan is a former Soviet Republic. The current outbreak in Turkmenistan poses minimal risks to the US. The number of travelers from Turkmenistan to the US is very small, and no relevant animal products have been legally imported to the US from Turkmenistan since 1996. The country exports and imports small quantities, from a world perspective, of cattle and sheep byproducts. More information is needed to determine (1) the virus subtype, and (2) whether these outbreaks reflect an endemic problem in Turkmenistan, or whether the outbreaks have occurred due to spread of FMD from other countries in South West Asia or the Middle East.
How extensive is the situation in the affected country and what was the country's disease status prior to the outbreak?
An outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) was reported by Turkmenistan to OIE on 21 May 1999. Turkmenistan is a former Soviet Republic bordered by Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. According to the brief report submitted by the Turkmenistan Ministry of Agriculture, five outbreaks of FMD were experienced there in the first quarter of 1999. The outbreaks occurred in the Farap, Sakar and Sayat districts in the northeastern part of the country that borders Uzbekistan; and in the Ghiaver district in the southern part of the country that borders Iran and Afghanistan. No information was provided regarding virus sub-typing.
Source: OIE disease information report
What is the country's place in the international market for affected animals and animal products?
Turkmenistan was the world's 29th largest producer of mutton and lamb in 1997. Turkmenistan is a very small producer of cattle, goats, pigs and products from these animals. The country exports and imports very small quantities, from a world perspective, of cattle and sheep byproducts.
Source: United Nations FAO
What is the country's production and trade in affected animals and animal products?
Turkmenistan's relevant live animal stocks and meat production for 1998 are listed in Table 1 and Table 2.
Table 1: Live Animal Stocks and Meat Production in Turkmenistan, 1998
|Cattle||900,000||beef and veal||240,000|
|Sheep||5,400,000||mutton and lamb||2,667,000|
|Animal Vegetable Oil||60||40|
|Hides and Skins||4800||4600|
|Skin With Wool, Sheep||2,300||2,400|
There were none in 1997, 1998 or January through March 1999.
Source: World Trade Atlas; March 1999
What is the level of passenger traffic arriving in the United States from the affected country?
As of 1997, there were no direct flights from Turkmenistan to the US. For travel to the US, three flights weekly depart Turkmenistan for Frankfurt, Germany. The World Tourism Organisation reported 271 tourists arriving in the US from Turkmenistan in 1996.
The Agricultural Quarantine Inspection Monitoring Program conducted by USDA, APHIS, PPQ sampled 5 airline passengers arriving in the US from Turkmenistan during the period from 10/1/97 through 9/30/98. None of the passengers carried animal products, however, 4 kg of soil were found on one passenger who arrived at Chicago O'Hare Airport on 11/30/97. The FMD virus has been shown to survive up to 21 weeks in soil during winter months. None of the 5 sampled passengers reported plans to visit or work on a farm or ranch while in the US. These numbers are one indicator of the amount of restricted agricultural products (of interest) illegally entering the US via airline passengers.
Sources: World Tourism Organization; USDA, APHIS, AQI Database; US Department of Transportation; FMD Sources of Outbreaks and Hazard Categorization of Modes of Virus Transmission, Center for Emerging Issues, December 1994.
The current FMD outbreak in Turkmenistan poses minimal risks to the US. The number of travelers from Turkmenistan to the US is very small, and no relevant animal products have been legally imported since 1996. As of now, more information is pending to determine (1) the virus subtype, and (2) whether these outbreaks reflect a resurfacing endemic problem in Turkmenistan, or whether the outbreaks have occurred due to spread of FMD from other countries in South West Asia or the Middle East.
CEI's plans for follow up:
CEI has no plans for follow-up at this time. If you need more information or wish to comment on this worksheet, please reply to this message or contact David Cummings at (970) 490-7895 or Reginald Johnson at (970) 490-7896.
Prepared by: Center for Emerging Issues, Centers for Epidemiology and Animal Health