N. America

Xylella Fastidiosa Continues to Spread in Corsica

Feb. 19, 2016
By Isabel Putinja

Recent News

The increas­ing spread of the Xylella fas­tidiosa bac­terium on the French island of Corsica has been cre­at­ing con­cern since the first case was detected on 22 July 22, 2015 in Propriano. In January, two newly infected zones in the com­mune of Monacia-d’Aullène located in the Corse-du-Sud depart­ment of south­ern Corsica were under­go­ing treat­ment to erad­i­cate infected plants.
See more: Complete Coverage of the Xylella Fastidiosa Outbreak
By the end of 2015, there were 194 con­firmed infec­tions in Corsica, and by the end of January 2016, the number had risen to 233. Most of these are con­cen­trated in south­ern Corsica in the Corse-du-Sud depart­ment, where there are 222 con­firmed cases to date while Haute-Corse has 11.

A buffer zone of a radius of 10 kilo­me­ters (6.2 miles) around each infected zone must be main­tained. As a result, 40 per­cent of the island is now demar­cated as a buffer zone, an area of 3,766 square kilo­me­ters (1,454 square miles). Infections have also been detected on the French main­land in the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur in the south of France.

In the mean­time, gov­ern­ment author­i­ties are final­iz­ing a com­pen­sa­tion pro­gram for those affected by losses as a result of the destruc­tion of plants infected by Xf. The funds can be applied to cover the costs of safe­guard­ing sus­cep­ti­ble plants that have been banned from export. An infor­ma­tion and help line has also been set up for com­pa­nies requir­ing infor­ma­tion on the com­pen­satory mea­sures being put in place for com­pa­nies facing losses.

Xylella fas­tidiosa has been blamed for the dev­as­ta­tion of tens of thou­sands of acres of olive groves in Italy’s Puglia region. EU-wide mea­sures taken to con­tain the bac­terium have so far failed to pre­vent its spread.