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Authorities warn FMD virus may spread in Gaza
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20:43, June 03, 2009

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Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is likely to spread in the Gaza Strip because vaccines ran out after two years of Israeli border closure, local authorities warned here Wednesday.

"Indications of the disease in Gaza are nearly confirmed," said the Hamas-run ministry of agriculture in a press release.

The statement said tens of thousands of cows and goats entered the Gaza Strip in an illegal way without being injected. The animals were brought from Egypt through underground smuggling tunnels in southern Gaza Strip.

"These animals need vaccines immediately to prevent the spread of the viral disease," the statement said, urging international organizations to press Israel to allow anti-viral drugs into Gaza.

Israel imposed the blockade on Gaza in June 2007 after Hamas seized control of the enclave. The livestock are part of a wide list of items that are not allowed to enter Gaza through the Israeli commercial crossing points.

Source: Xinhua

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