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Email received January 17th 2011 from the farmer/virologist Dr Ruth Watkins

Dear Mary

It sounds as though this second focus is confirmed by blood testing for antibodies- this could be old infection and not recent spread. I hope the antibody positive results have been confirmed with neutralisation tests. I don't know where Rezovo is in relation to the wild boar with lesions and what I presume was virus isolation from acute cases in Kosti in Bulgaria where they are culling animals.

It could be the Cyprus situation in that either animals with past infection have been imported from Turkey or from another area in Bulgaria near the border and where infected animals were not recognised.

I don't agree that the EU is doing all it can at all, if FMD is endemic in Turkey the only thing is to vaccinate the contiguous region in Bulgaria. What are the exports from this region? Could it be they are calves for the veal industry in Belgium etc?

Whenever vets publish results of testing for FMD they should say what tests were done and whether acute infection or past infection has been diagnosed.

best wishes