Millions of sheep and goats in Morocco could be killed by a virus which poses a risk to other North African and European countries but not humans, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said Sept. 9. Morocco’s first ever outbreak of “peste des petits ruminants”, also known as PPR or “goat plague,” shows the virus has crossed the natural barrier of the Sahara Desert which had previously kept north Africa free of the disease, FAO said. The Muslim festival of Ramadan could accelerate the spread of the virus which passes from animal to animal and is 80 percent fatal to livestock in acute cases, the Rome-based agency said. (Reuters)

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