Even disease does not affect human health, it can cause problems for food security.
In a statement released in Rome, the headquarters of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization – FAO warns that the disease is highly contagious and is spreading between both cultivated and wild tilapia.
As one of the most important fish in the world for human consumption, FAO invites tilapia importing countries to take appropriate measures, including requiring health certificates and quarantine, according to the Global Information System and Alert (GIEWS) created by the entity.
The tilapia-lactic virus (TiLV-Tilapia Lake Virus) has been confirmed in five countries on three continents: Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, Israel and Thailand, according to FAO.
“While the pathogen does not pose public health problems, it can decimate infected populations. In 2015, world tilapia production – both aquaculture and catch – amounted to 6,4 million tonnes, with an estimated value of 9.8 billion dollars, and worldwide trade of 1.8 billion dollars, the United Nations entity said.
FAO invites the countries involved to launch public information campaigns to advise aquaculturists, many of them on a small scale, on the clinical symptoms of TiLV and the economic and social risks it poses. Likewise, on the need to point out to the authorities responsible for biosafety cases of massive fish mortality.