An infectious disease of ruminants, especially cattle, caused by a paramyxovirus. It is characterized by fever, dysentery, and inflammation of the mucous membranes.
- Two devastating cattle diseases, rinderpest in 1896-7 and East Coast fever, which moved slowly through the country from 1904 to 1913, each killed as much as 80 per cent of the herds in some districts.
- However, in 1880-81, when the British unintentionally introduced rinderpest (a cattle disease), the Maasai lost 80 percent of their stock.
- It was not until rinderpest, or cattle plague, a highly fatal and contagious disease, wiped out seven per cent of the national herd between 1865 to 1867, that views on controlling animal disease changed, says Dr Woods.
Mid 19th century: from German, from Rinder 'cattle' + Pest 'plague'.
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