Rinderpest (Cattle Plague) is an infectious viral disease of ungulates including cattle, wildebeest, water buffalo, antelope, sheep and goats. Rinderpest outbreaks have caused massive losses of cattle and subsequent famine in parts of Africa. The disease has been targeted for global eradication by 2010. Today, Rinderpest is found only in isolated areas of Africa.
Parts of Africa, especially Somalia. The United States and Canada are considered free of Rinderpest.
Rinderpest does not pose a direct threat to public health but may contribute to widespread famine if an outbreak occurs.
There is no specific treament for Rinderpest. The disease is usually fatal. Any animal suspected of having Rinderpest should be reported to the State Veterinarians or USDA Area Veterinarian in Charge immediately.
The Global Rinderpest Eradication Program was adopted in the 1980s to prevent the spread of Rinderpest and eradicate the disease worldwide. This program has been largely successful due to vaccination and biosecurity practices including restriction of animal movement and the removal of infected animals. An international goal is to eradicate Rinderpest by 2010. If successful, Rinderpest will join Smallpox as the only successfully-eliminated diseases in history.