The secretary of Agricultural Protection in the Ministry of Agriculture, Gabriel Alves Maciel, dismissed the possibility that the outbreak of hoof and mouth disease in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul was caused by a variant virus.
According to Maciel, the virus is a type common in Southern Hemisphere countries. Another hypothesis, that the vaccine used in Brazil is not effective, was discarded after an analysis verified that it provides 99% immunity.
In an interview with National AM Radio from Brasília, Maciel said there are three other possible causes: 1) The vaccine was improperly handled on the ranch in Eldorado; 2) Vaccination was selective, omitting the youngest animals (the ones most affected); and 3) There was a migration of animals from an area where vaccination was not applied to the area which is presently under quarantine.
The secretary affirmed, however, that there is no risk of infected animals leaving the quarantined area. "The area is completely isolated. We have over 20 teams in the region, and only disinfected vehicles or individuals cross municipal lines. Moreover, no animals are being moved," he declared.
Three new foci of the disease within the quarantined area were confirmed Monday, October 17. The secretary did not rule out the possible appearance of other foci within the same area.