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Foot and Mouth Disease strikes again in China

FMD infection is reported in two Chinese province of Ningxia Hui and Jiangusu. A new threat of FMD as started to threaten Asia which is already facing outbreaks of bird flu infection. Though spread of FMD to humans is rare // but they cause immense economic loss to cattle industry and it would increase the burden of the farmers who are already facing loss due to poultry loss due to bird flu infection.

FMD is highly infectious disease of cattle, sheep, pigs and goats and is mostly a disease of animals and is highly contagious in early stage of infection when the virus is present in the blood of the animal and causes wounds (vesicles) in the mouth and feet rupture through which lot of virus is excreted and the virus is mostly viable for large periods in these excretions. FMD is responsible for causing a mortality of 70% in the infected animal and causes drastic loss of milk and meat. FMD can also be transmitted to humans through ingestion or contact which leads to symptoms of fever, salivation, and vesiculation in oropharynx, palms, fingers, soles and toes.

Outbreak of FMD occurred early during the starting of this year in the Xuanhe Town of Ningxia province where two cattle developed symptoms of ulceration in mouth and foot and subsequently one of the cattle died leading to slaughtering of 89 cows and 110 sheep in the nearby area as a precautionary measure. The other outbreak occurred in Jiangsu province where 20 cows showed symptoms of FMD leading to slaughtering of all the animals in the nearby town.

Tests from the National Food and Mouth Disease lab confirmed the infection of Asia I strain of FMD virus in these infected animals and the Ministry of Agriculture as asked slaughtering of all exposed animals and vaccination of all unaffected animals.


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