Remember the rinderpest virus?

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Today the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) launches a digital media campaign warning against the risks of accidental or deliberate release of the rinderpest virus.

Rinderpest was officially declared eradicated by the OIE and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in a historic moment in 2011. Rinderpest also called cattle plaque, did not affect humans but left millions of dead animals in its wake, causing major economic and social disruption. While the virus no longer circulates in animals, dozens of laboratories still hold stocks of the virus, posing a risk to global security.

The video highlights the risks for virus escape, as a result of negligence, an accident or a deliberate act, and that storing the rinderpest virus comes with a great burden of responsibility. It calls countries and laboratories to identify their stocks of the virus and provides a checklist of actions to take to ensure rinderpest does not resurface.

More about rinderpest
Rinderpest is a contagious viral disease affecting several species of wild and domestic cloven-hoofed animals and the term was coined in order to correctly reflect the devastation the disease brings to hit domestic and wild animal populations, people’s livelihoods and consequently, on entire local or national economies. The disease is caused by a virus of the family Paramyxoviridae, genus Morbillivirus and the consequences range from milder clinical signs to a mortality rate up to 100 per cent in highly susceptible cattle or buffalo herds.

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