Chapter 10 : Emerging Diseases of Animals

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In 1997, a huge outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) emerged in Taiwan. Although the source of the outbreak was never confirmed, there were strong suspicions that it resulted from illegal importation of infected animals. All of these large-scale outbreaks of diseases emergent in countries that have been free of them usually result in massive depopulation of herds or flocks. This depopulation in and of itself can have significant impacts on humans. First, for each food-producing animal that is killed, there is considerable resource wastage; that is, all of the materials required to grow the animal are never recovered in the form of consumable protein. Second, there can be major environmental problems associated with the disposal of carcasses. In general, the animals and animal products that cross borders are subject to stringent regulatory controls related to those diseases with which the scientific agricultural community is already familiar. In animals there are numerous examples of alterations in ecology that have resulted in new diseases. As animals are moved around and grouped in new ways, as their environments are modified, and as technological advances to increase production are promoted, there is tremendous potential for endogenous flora to wedge into new gaps. Husbandry changes, the correlate of which in human medicine would be lifestyle changes, are responsible for a number of emerging diseases in animals. There are a variety of emerging diseases of animals, and they are caused by many of the same factors that are at play in human diseases.

Citation: Brown C. 1999. Emerging Diseases of Animals, p 153-164. In Scheld W, Craig W, Hughes J (ed), Emerging Infections 3. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818418.ch10
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