Foot & Mouth Disease

Topics: Vaccination, Foot-and-mouth disease, Aphthovirus Pages: 8 (2881 words) Published: February 25, 2013
Foot-and-mouth disease or hoof-and-mouth disease (Aphthae epizooticae) is aninfectious and sometimes fatal viral disease that affects cloven-hoofed animals, including domestic and wild bovids. The virus causes a high fever for two or three days, followed byblisters inside the mouth and on the feet that may rupture and cause lameness. Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a severe plague for animal farming, since it is highly infectious and can be spread by infected animals through aerosols, through contact with contaminated farming equipment, vehicles, clothing or feed, and by domestic and wildpredators.[1] Its containment demands considerable efforts in vaccination, strict monitoring, trade restrictions and quarantines, and occasionally the elimination of millions of animals. Susceptible animals include cattle, water buffalo, sheep, goats, pigs, antelope, deer, andbison. It has also been known to infect hedgehogs and elephants;[1][2] llamas, and alpacasmay develop mild symptoms, but are resistant to the disease and do not pass it on to others of the same species.[1] In laboratory experiments, mice, rats, and chickens have been successfully infected by artificial means, but they are not believed to contract the disease under natural conditions.[1] Humans are very rarely infected. The virus responsible for the disease is a picornavirus, the prototypic member of the genus Aphthovirus. Infection occurs when the virus particle is taken into a cell of the host. The cell is then forced to manufacture thousands of copies of the virus, and eventually bursts, releasing the new particles in the blood. The virus is genetically highly variable,[3] which limits the effectiveness of vaccination. -------------------------------------------------

The cause of FMD was first shown to be viral in 1897 by Friedrich Loeffler. He passed the blood of an infected animal through aChamberland filter and found the collected fluid could still cause the disease in healthy animals. FMD occurs throughout much of the world, and whilst some countries have been free of FMD for some time, its wide host range and rapid spread represent cause for international concern. After World War II, the disease was widely distributed throughout the world. In 1996, endemic areas included Asia, Africa, and parts of South America; as of August 2007, Chile is disease-free,[4] and Uruguay andArgentina have not had an outbreak since 2001. North America and Australia have been free of FMD for many years. New Zealand has never had a case of foot-and-mouth disease.[5] Most European countries have been recognized as disease-free, and countries belonging to the European Union have stopped FMD vaccination. However, in 2001, a serious outbreak of FMD in Britain resulted in the slaughter of many animals, the postponing of the general electionfor a month, and the cancellation of many sporting events and leisure activities, such as the Isle of Man TT. Due to strict government policies on sale of livestock, disinfection of all persons leaving and entering farms, and the cancellation of large events likely to be attended by farmers, a potentially economically disastrous epizootic was avoided in the Republic of Ireland,[citation needed] with just one case recorded in Proleek, Co. Louth. In August 2007, FMD was found at two farms in Surrey, England. All livestock were culled and a quarantine erected over the area. Two other suspected outbreaks have occurred since, although these seem now not to be related to FMD. The only reported cases in 2010 were a false alarm from GIS Alex Baker, as proven false by the Florida Farm and AgriculturalDepartment, and confirmed quarantine/slaughter of cattle and pigs has been reported from Miyazaki Prefecture in Japan in June after three cows tested positive. A total of some 270,000 cattle have been ordered slaughtered following the disease's outbreak. -------------------------------------------------

Foot-and-mouth disease infecting humans
Humans can...
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