Peste des Petits Ruminants

Agricultural Disaster Preparedness and Recovery November 18, 2015 Print Friendly and PDF

Herd of goats.

What is Peste des Petits?

Peste des petits ruminants is a contagious disease of sheep and goats that is similar to Rinderpest. The disease is spread through inhalation of droplets from coughing or sneezing animals, or contact with feces or contaminated bedding.

Although peste des petits ruminants is highly contagious, it requires close contact between animals to spread. Mortality rates can reach 100 percent, especially in goat herds.

Where Is Peste des Petits Found?

Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and India. The United States and Canada are considered free from peste des petits ruminants.

Can Peste des Petits Affect People?

Peste des petits ruminants is not a public health threat.

What Are The Signs Of Peste des Petits?

  • Fever
  • Restlessness
  • Decreased appetite
  • Nasal discharge
  • Excessive salivation
  • Mouth and/or nose sores
  • Severe diarrhea
  • Coughing

Can Peste des Petits Be Treated?

There is no specific treatment for peste des petits ruminants. Any animal suspected of having peste des petits ruminants should be reported to the State Veterinarians or USDA Area Veterinarian in Charge immediately.

How Can Peste des Petits Be Prevented?

In endemic areas, rinderpest vaccinations are often used to protect against peste des petits ruminants. However, this practice is discouraged, and new peste des petits ruminants vaccines are available. To prevent the entry and spread of the disease, follow basic biosecurity practices and quarantine any animal of unknown health status before mixing it with the rest of the herd.

Where Can I Find Additional Information?

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.