Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) is a contagious viral disease that mainly affects sheep and goats, and is not transmitted to humans. The disease is present in several regions, including Africa, the Middle East and Asia. The virus responsible for this disease cannot resist long in the external environment because of its weakness. Infected animals shed large amounts of virus by shedding tears and secreting saliva and feces. Coughing and sneezing also contribute to its spread, resulting in rapid transmission of the disease through direct contact between animals. On the other hand, collecting animals from different directions leads to the spread of the disease. Morbidity and mortality rates in an infected herd range from 50% to 70%. Also, these rates can be much lower (zero) depending on the degree of natural resistance of the animals.
2- National health status and disease control programme :
Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) first appeared in Morocco in July 2008. The national veterinary services were mobilized and the necessary human and material resources were mobilized to control it and prevent its spread to the rest of the country. , a disease control strategy was developed, represented by the launch of three vaccination campaigns, From 2008 to 2010, the national sheep and goat herd was vaccinated against PPR, Parallel to the establishment of veterinary health measures to surround outbreaks declared in accordance with current laws and the strengthening of the fight against epidemics throughout the country. This strategy has already been successful in controlling the disease, with the last case announced on November 5, 2008.
In addition, in order to counter any new entry of this disease virus from neighbouring countries, the veterinary services of the National Office for Health Product Safety worked in 2011, The Food Programme has launched a vaccination campaign against PPR in border provinces. The strategy adopted since then is to strengthen the epidemiological surveillance of the disease throughout the country and to manage the declared potential outbreaks by applying health measures and vaccination legislation around the outbreaks. In parallel with the above measures, the device of investigation of the clinical symptoms of the disease has continued at national level through continuous field investigations conducted by the veterinary services of the National Office of the Food Safety Products with the participation of the veterinarians delegates.
In addition, a serological survey was carried out in 2012 using nationally representative serums, which helped to reinforce the positive results of the strategy adopted, which resulted in the absence of transmission of the virus at the origin of the disease, and in the presence of good immunity acquired in previously vaccinated animals.
Parallel procedures performed
Since the emergence of PPR in Morocco, in addition to control measures to reduce and control the disease, several parallel measures have been implemented to achieve the objectives set, including:
– Immediate notification of the disease to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and Morocco’s main partners;
– Drafting of a ministerial order on this disease;
– Inform and educate the various stakeholders (veterinary services, delegated veterinarians, local authorities, breeders, etc.); Various communication procedures and media (press releases, radio and television, etc.);
– Production of a special vaccine against this disease at national level by the state company Biopharma, which has made it possible to successfully carry out various vaccination campaigns for the national herd.
– Close collaboration with the other departments concerned to ensure good epidemiological surveillance and vaccination of all sheep and goats present in the national territory (Gendarmerie Royale, local authorities…).
– Cooperation with other international organisations (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, World Organisation for Animal Health) necessary framework for better control of the disease.