State and territory leaders have been told that the risk of hand, foot and mouth disease reaching Australia has decreased as Indonesia has controlled its outbreak.
According to media reports, more than 450,000 cases of the disease have been recorded in Indonesia and thousands of infected cattle have been slaughtered.
An expert biosecurity task force has been established to ensure Australia is fully prepared for any potential outbreak.
But Western Australia’s Prime Minister Mark McGowan on Friday indicated there is optimism that Indonesia is over the outbreak.
“We had a long discussion on hand, foot and mouth disease yesterday at the National Council of Ministers,” he told reporters.
“The advice was that the risk from Indonesia is low and the risk is decreasing.
“[The federal government]believes there is a lot of contact tracing going on in Indonesia, a lot of vaccinations, and a reduced risk.
“It’s a good thing, and the task force and measures that the federal government has in place are very appropriate.”
Agriculture Minister Murray Watt announced on Thursday that he will establish an Exotic Animal Diseases Task Force with officials from the Australian Defense Force, Australian Border Force and Animal Health Australia.
Conduct a series of scenario-based exercises before reporting to Ministers by 5 September.
In addition to sanitary footmats being deployed at all of Australia’s international airports, the task force has increased the authority of biosecurity personnel to screen arriving travelers following the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Indonesia.
There are currently no diseases affecting livestock in Australia.
“You have to remember that[hand, foot and mouth disease]has been around for a long time in Vietnam, Thailand and other countries, but it’s not in Australia. Now it’s in Indonesia where it’s being addressed. It’s just a place to deal with it,” McGowan said.
Senator Watt said a vaccine promised to help Indonesia contain the disease outbreak is expected to land “soon”.
He said Defense Force personnel would assist with logistics and planning.
Hand-foot-and-mouth disease epidemic risk ‘reduced’
Source link Hand-foot-and-mouth disease epidemic risk ‘reduced’