Zimbabwe has suspended imports of livestock and meat from South Africa for the second time this year after an outbreak of foot and mouth in the north of South Africa the agriculture ministry said on Friday.
According to ZimEye, the agriculture ministry said in a statement that it had been notified by South African veterinary services that the latest outbreak had been identified at a farm in Limpopo province, close to the border with Zimbabwe.
Importation of live cattle, goats, sheep and pigs and related products have been suspended as authorities seek to identify the virus strain and extent of the outbreak.
“The suspension of imports from South Africa is a precautionary measure designed to prevent the spread of the infection into Zimbabwe,” the ministry said.
Zimbabwe joins Botswana and Eswatini in suspending meat imports from South Africa following the outbreak of the highly contagious foot and mouth disease.
Hand-foot-and-mouth disease, or HFMD, is caused by a virus. Symptoms include ulcers, or sores, inside or around the mouth, and a rash or blisters on the hands, feet, legs, or buttocks. And while it’s not pleasant, it also isn’t serious.
Anyone can get the disease, but children under age 10 are most likely to catch it. You can take steps to ease the symptoms while it runs its course, though.