Greece Identifies First Case of Sheep Pox, Implements Animal Movement Ban

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Greek health authorities have confirmed the first case of sheep pox after conducting an on-site livestock inspection at a farm in western Lesvos, according to the Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food. Tissue samples taken during the inspection were sent to a lab in Athens, which subsequently confirmed the presence of the virus on Tuesday. As a result, the area in Sigri, where the outbreak was identified, has been placed under surveillance, with a ban on the movement of animals enforced for a period of one and a half months.

During a press conference held on Wednesday, Panagos Koufelos, the deputy governor of Agricultural Economy, and Stratis Tsombanellis, the Director of the Veterinary Service, announced that the infected animal had been euthanized. Furthermore, a team of veterinarians examined the rest of the herd consisting of 450 animals on the same day, and thus far, no additional animals have displayed any symptoms of the virus.

The inspection was prompted by an alert issued by Turkish health authorities regarding outbreaks of sheep pox in the Smyrna and Canakkale regions, which are situated near the Greek island.

To prevent the spread of the disease, authorities have implemented a special disinfection process for tourists coming from Turkey.

Sheep pox is an extremely contagious infectious disease primarily affecting goats and sheep. It can be transmitted through direct contact with an infected animal, consumption of contaminated food, or via tools, vehicles, or products. It should be noted that the virus is not transmissible to humans or other animal species.

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