Health

What Is Foot-And-Mouth Disease?

This disease does not pose a threat to humans, but it could impact Australia’s economy.

By Monica CullJul 28, 2022 6:45 PM
foot and mouth cow
(Credit:Eric Buermeyer/Shutterstock)

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news
 

Foot-and-mouth disease is a highly contagious animal disease. It impacts animals with cloven hooves such as cows, deer, sheep, pigs and goats. Unlike hand-foot-and-mouth disease — which comes from a different virus — foot-and-mouth disease does not pose a threat to humans, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). However, the ECDC recommends not consuming unpasturaized milk and avoiding consumption of meat that may have been contaminated with the foot-and-mouth virus. 

The Australian Government is taking precautions after detecting the virus during a routine meat inspection in pork that was imported from Indonesia and China. According to Reuters, a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak could have an $80 billion AUD ($55 billion USD) economic impact. 

Airplane passengers returning from Indonesia can walk over sanitizing mats at the airport to clean their shoes as a preventative biosecurity measure. Anyone returning from Indonesia is also recommended to keep away from livestock and livestock farms for at least seven days. Farmers also need to keep a close watch on their livestock and educate themselves on the symptoms of the disease. 

Animals with foot-and-mouth disease typically exhibit symptoms such as fever and  blisters, or sores in the mouth, teats and between the hooves. 

Luckily, the animals in Australia are currently foot-and-mouth disease free

1 free article left
Want More? Get unlimited access for as low as $1.99/month

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

1 free articleSubscribe
Discover Magazine Logo
Want more?

Keep reading for as low as $1.99!

Subscribe

Already a subscriber?

Register or Log In

More From Discover
Recommendations From Our Store
Shop Now
Stay Curious
Join
Our List

Sign up for our weekly science updates.

 
Subscribe
To The Magazine

Save up to 70% off the cover price when you subscribe to Discover magazine.

Copyright © 2022 Kalmbach Media Co.