Chapter 21 : Foot-and-Mouth Folly?

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The foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) causes an acute vesicular condition of pigs and wild and domesticated cattle, sheep, goats, deer, and other ruminants. Nevertheless, the FMD virus is highly transmissible, arguably the most contagious organism on Earth. The European policy on FMD changed in the early 1990s. First, countries such as France, Germany, and Italy, which had previously immunized livestock, phased out the practice. The epidemic that began in Britain in 2001, led to very rapid spread of the virus throughout the country. The arguments that Britain, and the whole of the European Union, rejected immunization, were that FMD vaccines, though effective, are costly and imperfect in several ways. Many other communicable diseases can be controlled with imperfect vaccines, and vaccine technology has progressed considerably over the years. The worrisome scenario is that national herds are totally vulnerable to infectious diseases in the world and widespread livestock movements facilitates dissemination of the virus if and when it was introduced from outside.

Citation: Dixon B. 2009. Foot-and-Mouth Folly?, p 96-99. In Animalcules. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817442.ch21
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