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What Is Foot & Mouth Disease?


Foot-and-mouth disease is a highly infectious viral disease of cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, buffalo and artiodactyl wildlife species. Characterized by a high fever and vesicles in the mouth and on the muzzle, teats and feet. Although the disease is rarely fatal except in young animals, in a susceptible population morbidity approaches 100%.


FMD is caused by an aphthovirus of the family Picornaviridae, There are 7 distinct serotypes and within each a large number of strains, therefore more than one vaccine strain is required for each serotype.


The incubation period for FMD is 2-14 days, this depending largely on the susceptibility of the host and strain of the virus. In pigs it may even be as short as 18 hours. Due to the clinical signs being more severe in cattle and pigs than in sheep and goats, it has frequently been ignored or misdiagnosed.


After the incubation period in cattle and pigs anorexia and a fever of up to 41°C may develop.

Cattle will salivate and stamp their feet as vesicles develop on the tongue, dental pad, gums, lips and the coronary band and interdigital cleft of the feet. Vesicles may also appear on the teats and udder, particularly that of lactating cows and sows as well as dramatically reducing the milk yield in milking animals.

The young calves, lambs, kids and piglets may even die before showing any vesicles because of virus-induced damage to the developing cells of the myocardium.


In sheep and goats only a few vesicles on the coronary band and in the mouth may develop, which usually heal within 7 days, although recovery of the tongue papillae will take longer. Lesions on the mammary gland and feet frequently develop secondary infections, resulting in mastitis and chronic lameness. In cattle and pigs, the complete horn/s of the toe may be lost.


FMD virus can survive in dry fecal material for 14 days in summer, in slurry up to 6 months in winter, in urine for 39 days and on the soil between 3 and 28 days in summer and winter respectively.


The FMD virus is generally transmitted via contact between susceptible and infected animals by means of direct, indirect and mechanical vectors.

All secretions or excretions, this including milk and semen, of the infected animal contains the virus and as the infected animals have a large amount of the virus in their exhaled air, this too can infect others via inhalation. Breeding being a possible route of transmission of the SAT viruses in the African buffalo populations.

Although people, horses, dogs, cats and birds are not susceptible to infection, they can carry and therefore spread the virus. Even milk tankers carrying infected milk have been implicated in the spread of disease between farms.


An outbreak of FMD can have a major effect on local and international trading arrangements not to mention the enormous loses the farmers incur as a result. Many countries have a policy of slaughtering all affected and in-contact susceptible animals, as well as implementing strict restrictions on movement of animals and vehicles around infected premises. After the slaughtering the carcasses are to be burnt or buried and the premises and buildings thoroughly disinfected. Tracing is then done to identify the source of the outbreak, and possible premises that the FMD virus could of already be transmitted to.


In countries in which FMD is endemic, protection and prevention is achieved by a combination of vaccination and regular barn, bootbaths and wheel disinfection and also the quarantining of any new animals entering the premises.


This is where Virocid® comes into play.


A super concentrated disinfectant, with a required dosage of lower than 50% of other disinfecting products, makes Virocid® not only vastly more economical but also a lot more versatile. Effective against all bacteria, viruses, fungi and spores. It also has a long effect and can be used in many different circumstances and on different surfaces like concrete, metal, foot baths and vehicles. Virocid® disinfection in Action, read more https://www.cidlines.com/en-INT/virocid-disinfection-action


We at Stutt Trading are here for you. You are welcome to contact us for any further information or advice.

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