|Article Index||"Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD)"||Article Index|
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|FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE (FMD)||
Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a severe, highly communicable viral disease of cattle and swine. It also affects sheep, goats, deer, and other cloven-hooved ruminants. FMD is not recognized as a zoonotic disease.
This country has been free of FMD since 1929, when the last of nine U.S. outbreaks was eradicated.
The disease is characterized by fever and blister-like lesions followed by erosions on the tongue and lips, in the mouth, on the teats, and between the hooves. Many affected animals recover, but the disease leaves them debilitated. It causes severe losses in the production of meat and milk.
Because it spreads widely and rapidly and because it has grave economic as well as clinical consequences, FMD is one of the animal diseases that livestock owners dread most.
What Causes It
There are at least seven separate types and many subtypes of the FMD virus. Immunity to one type does not protect an animal against other types.
How It Spreads
Some of these other signs may appear in affected animals during an FMD outbreak:
Meat animals do not normally regain lost weight for many months. Recovered cows seldom produce milk at their former rates. FMD can lead to myocarditis (inflammation of the muscular walls of the heart) and death, especially in newborn animals.
Confusion With Other Diseases
Where FMD Occurs
Prevention and Control
Animals and animal byproducts from areas known to be infected are prohibited entry into this country.
Livestock animals in this country are highly susceptible to FMD viruses. If an outbreak occurred in the United States, this disease could spread rapidly to all sections of the country by routine livestock movements unless it was detected early and eradicated immediately.
If FMD were to spread unchecked, the economic impact could reach billions of dollars in the first year. Deer and wildlife populations could become infected rapidly and could be a source for reinfection of livestock.
What You Can Do
If FMD should appear in your animals, your report will set in motion an effective State and Federal eradication program.
Your participation is vital. Both the early recognition of disease signs and the prompt notification of veterinary officials are essential if eradication is to be carried out successfully.
Your warning may prevent FMD from becoming established in the United States, or, if it does spread, reduce the time and money needed to wipe it out.
About the author: Additional Information|
For more information about FMD, contact
USDA, APHIS, Veterinary Services
4700 River Road, Unit 41
Riverdale, MD 20737–1231
Telephone (301) 734–8073
Fax (301) 734–7817
The APHIS Emergency Operations Center
Current information on animal diseases and suspected outbreaks is also available on the Internet at http://www.aphis.usda.gov.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital or family status. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).
To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326–W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250–9410 or call (202) 720–5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
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