PPR virus is a member of the genus Morbillivirus in the family Paramyxoviridae. PPRV is closely related to rinderpest virus.
The disease is present in West Africa, part of Central Africa (Gabon, Central African Republic), East Africa (north of the Equator), the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent including Nepal and Myanmar. Since 2008, Morocco is suffering a generalised outbreak.
Heavy losses can be seen, especially in naïve herds (up to 80%). The total yearly cost of the disease is estimated to be US $874 million.
Transmission of PPRV occurs during close contact and inhalation. PPRV is shed in nasal and ocular secretions, saliva, urine and faeces. Fomites such as water and bedding may transmit PPRV, but do not remain infectious for long periods of time.
The incubation is two to ten days. Peracute cases with high fever, severe depression and death can be seen in naïve populations. In acute cases, the signs include a high fever, marked depression, and nasal and ocular discharge. The gums and other mucous membranes become hyperemic, with erosions. Animals develop profuse diarrhoea, coughing and pneumonia. Females may abort. Subacute symptoms often include respiratory signs.
See also our blog post Fulani freed from the threat of PPR and SGP in Mali and the video Let’s eradicate Peste des petits ruminants.