3. Southern Africa: Fish disease threatens Zambezi River Basin (FAO)

| July 27, 2009

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The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is warning fishers and fish farmers of a disease outbreak in the Zambezi River Basin. Epizootic Ulcerative Syndrome (EUS) has been detected in Zambezi waters. It is sometimes called red spot disease because it causes red spots on fish. The spots may develop into deeper ulcers with white rims.EUS is one of the most serious fish diseases. It can cause high mortality, especially among young fish.

It is not possible to control the disease in open waters. However, fish farmers can take measures to prevent the disease from entering their farm. Ensure infected fish do not enter fish ponds. Remove dead fish and improve water quality.

Fish infected with EUS do not normally pose a risk to humans. However, fish with deep ulcers may carry dangerous pathogens. Therefore, they should be thoroughly cooked before eating.

The following websites provide more information on Epizootic Ulcerative Syndrome and photos of diseased fish: