Following a confirmed infection of the deadly bacterium Xylella Fastidiosa (Xf) on the French island of Corsica, the French ministry of agriculture has announced measures to contain its spread.
See Also: Complete Coverage of the Xylella Fastidiosa Outbreak
The bacterium was positively identified on July 22 in Myrtle-leaf Milkwort plants in Propiano, South Corsica. The local authorities took immediate action by destroying the infected plants as well as any other plants within 10 meters susceptible to the bacterium. Vegetation within a kilometer radius of the infected zone were also closely examined for contamination.
Meanwhile, the French minister of agriculture, Stéphane Le Foll, announced that extra funds would be made available to contain the outbreak and put preventive measures in place, and an ad hoc expert mission would be soon deployed to Corsica. The minister also recommended limiting the number of plants which are not subject to the ban on the entry of plants to Corsica.
A July 29 press release by the French ministry of agriculture announced that during a trip to Corsica, Le Foll had decided to immediately double the number of staff at the Corsica office of the Regional Federation of Defense Against Harmful Organisms (Fédération Régionale de Défense contre les Organismes Nuisibles – Fredon) for a period of three months, and make emergency funds available for an investigation into the origin of the infection. This will be followed by an expert mission to Corsica with the objectives to provide support to the epidemiological investigation into the origin of the infection, determine whether the insects known to be vectors of Xf are contaminated with the bacterium, develop a better understanding of potential vectors, and establish whether certain risk factors should be taken into account with a view to prevent the further spread of the bacterium.