Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) - Emergence - Your Guide to Transboundary & Emerging Diseases
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44
Total Reported Outbreaks
16
Total Affected Countries
3
Total Affected Species
Key Facts
Clinical Signs
Treatment and Management
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Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a highly infectious viral disease that affects cloven-hooved animals, including cattle, sheep and pigs.

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Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD)

FMD is endemic in various parts of the world, whilst others are FMD-free (e.g. Europe and North America) or working towards eradication (e.g. South America).  Find out where the latest reported outbreaks are with this map. 

Key Facts
Clinical Signs

FMD is a very painful disease that causes blisters and sores on feet, in the mouth and on teats. Other clinical signs include fever, depression, anorexia, lower milk production, salivation, lameness and abortion. There are differences in clinical signs between affected species.

Treatment

As a viral disease, there is no specific and effective treatment for FMD-infected animals. Control and prevention methods, such as biosecurity, vaccination and movement restrictions are important.

Management

Biosecurity is critical in the control and prevention of FMD. This is because the FMD virus is very contagious, which is because it is very persistent in the environment, only requires small amounts to infect animals, and is produced in large amounts by those that become infected. Prompt reporting of possible outbreaks and animal movement restrictions are also important in stopping the spread of FMD.

Cattle in a field
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Focus On… Tracking the movement of livestock – developing strategic interventions for infectious disease control in East Africa
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Podcast Episode 2 - 2021 - The One About Paraprofessionals
A discussion with Mr Benson Ameda about the role of paraprofessionals for animal health in Africa. Acronyms: OIE: World Organisation for Animal Health SDG: Sustainable Development Goals
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An interview with Professors Tiziana Lembo and Divine Ekwem on Foot and Mouth Disease in Tanzania, and the impact on communities. During this episode I mention the EuFMD Open Session. You can read our write up of the event at https://www.emergence-msd-animal-health.com/general-article/conferences-in-a-digital-world-eufmd-open-session-2020-moves-online, and you can see the session videos at https://www.youtube.com/user/EUFMD/videos (including mine on the Prioritisation of Vaccines https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_stc-WpZBM&t=8s)
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Focus On... The Vital Role of Animal Traceability in Controlling Livestock Diseases
The implementation of effective biosecurity policies across the food chain has become increasingly vital to control the spread of livestock diseases and ensure the wellbeing of animals and humans alike around the world. The main prerequisite for such policies is livestock identification, as this enables the tracking and monitoring of all livestock movement over their lifetime. Traceability depends on identification For animal protein products (predominantly beef, pork, poultry, seafood, and dairy products), there is an abundance of food traceability programs around the world that take varying approaches and utilize a wide array of technologies. Regardless of the program, having a unique identifying tag that is associated with an animal from birth and cannot be easily removed is fundamental for them all. Cattle wearing Allflex Livestock Intelligence EID tag. Increasingly, livestock identification is seen as vital for food biosecurity. There were major uptakes in livestock identification requirements following disease crises, such as the Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE, Mad Cow Disease) epidemic in the 1980s and 1990s and the foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in the UK in the early 2000s. Just a couple of years ago, African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreaks had a devastating impact on farmers in China, and the epidemic also affected domestic and wild pigs in other countries in Asia, Africa and Europe. In all these cases, the rudimentary information available on animal movement resulted in wide-swath culling. While instrumental in containing the disease and protecting consumers, the culling programs had severe effects on farmers’ businesses, national economies and food supply far beyond the geographic borders of the outbreak. Identification is just the start For food biosecurity, knowing the identity of an animal is not enough; it is vital to also know where that animal has been during every stage of its life. With basic livestock identification, it is possible to have a general idea of an animal’s movements over its lifetime. But combining identification with tissue sampling, diagnostic services, geolocation, and DNA profiling enables full traceability. And, once you have full traceability, then disease outbreaks can be contained faster, easier and with far less culling. Ideally, all stakeholders in the supply chain – from farmers to food producers, retailers, local councils and governments – should take collective responsibility for implementing such measures at the farm, regional, and national levels. In the case of farmers, biosecurity practices include the standardizing of hygiene procedures both onsite and offsite, the setting up of protection and surveillance zones, and the implementation of methods to identify, control, monitor, and record all livestock movements from birth. At the regional or national level, industry authorities, local councils, and governments can mandate biosecurity standards, policies, and systems that enforce compulsory identification, monitoring, and control measures for tracking the movement of farm animals from the time they are born and ensuring their lifetime traceability. Sheep wearing the Allflex Livestock Intelligence EID tags Digitization will be key The effective implementation of such livestock traceability systems requires the creation of a smart environment that integrates agriculture with digital solutions. This facilitates the tracking and monitoring of all livestock movement, as well as the collection of this data so that it can be easily accessed when the need arises. One potential approach is to develop comprehensive electronic identification and monitoring systems that integrate electronic identification tags with readers at more locations, making it possible to automatically collect livestock data from multiple sources into centralized and cloud-based national databases. This will facilitate full traceability for every animal from the time it is born. Highly valuable data can then be made available to farmers, local authorities, veterinarians, slaughterhouses, producers, retailers, and others in the food supply chain, and even consumers – for full transparency about the origins and health profiles of all livestock and related food products. The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of MSD Animal Health.
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Welcoming 2021
Welcome to a new edition of emergence and the beginning of a new year.  This always seems a natural time to reflect, both on what has happened in the last year and also on hopes for the coming one. Welcome to a new edition of emergence and the beginning of a new year.  This always seems a natural time to reflect, both on what has happened in the last year and also on hopes for the coming one. Last year was a complex one for transboundary and emerging diseases.  The pandemic brought the issue of One Health diseases to the fore, and this has had an important impact on how the world focuses on controlling these diseases.  However, it also meant a lot of funds were diverted from on-going control programs in order to deal with the emergency.  This could mean that, in the short-term, we are going to see a resurgence of certain viruses. What is clear is that we need to get better with our surveillance, both of the known diseases and of those emerging in the human:animal interface.  And this is where technology is coming in to play.  There are a lot of exciting developments that could change our knowledge and ability to predict where our focus needs to be.  Drones not only allow us to start delivering vaccines to areas previously difficult to access, but they can also be used for animal surveillance, helping us to learn more about animal numbers and movements, both domestic and wildlife.  Social media platforms allow us to hear people’s voices and to see new disease outbreaks in real time.  Improved animal tracking helps us follow not just where animals have come from, but also to retrospectively go back and find the nodes from where disease spreads.  These are exciting times. For the International Veterinary Health Team, innovation is a driver.  It is part of our everyday intent to discover improved ways of bringing you information.  The emergence podcast has allowed us to have interviews with experts, the new website is more interactive than ever, we hosted a virtual stand at the EuFMD OS20 meeting, and we started the Rabies 360 Challenge to leverage social media in raising awareness to rabies. Reach out to us with suggestions of topics you would like covered on the podcast and on the website.  We want to bring you the information that you need, and the best way for us to ensure that is by hearing from you. We will continue to look at new technologies and to explore just how they can help us all in the One Health community to bring improved health and welfare to animals and humans alike.  This is our commitment in looking forward to this year.
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Conferences in a Digital World: EuFMD Open Session 2020 Moves Online
The EuFMD Open Session (OS) takes place every 2 years and is one of the most important conferences on foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in the calendar. The 2020 edition of the OS not only saw the inclusion of a range of FAST (Foot-and-mouth And Similar Transboundary) Diseases, including lumpy skin disease (LSD) and Peste Des Petites Ruminants (PPR), it also saw the event move online. “We had to take a gut-wrenching decision to not have our usual meeting with the FMD community and move it online. However, this opened new doors for us. Virtual ones in this case! The team transferred all the conference into a virtual reality area, complete with avatars, walk-in rooms with screens showing the proceedings and posters and connection with social media. I am quite pleased with the way we asked poster authors to summarize their talks in posters. We also moved away from Zoom specifically for the Open Session and we managed to have a good interaction with participants through the use of live boxes. The OS20 was focused on animal mobility for risk mapping, addressing risk change and forecast, vaccine security and critical resources for emergency management,  and resilience to long-term crises. The focus remained on FMD, but similar TADs were also considered. What the team and I missed most was meeting up in the evening to talk about the conference and informal chats with our colleagues. We did manage to connect with more than triple the usual number of participants, and we hope to keep this network up”. Fabrizio Rosso, Deputy Executive Secretary of the EuFMD, who took the lead in organizing the Open Session. Participants could easily move around the virtual conference site The virtual event took place over several days in December 2020 with the concluding session coming up on 16th February 2021. The agenda featured speakers from all around the world talking on a wide range of topics according to the focus of the day: 8th December 2020: Measuring animal movements and drivers for FAST risk mapping.10th December 2020: From risk to actions, make them happen.15th December 2020: Vaccine security and critical resources for emergency management.17th December 2020: Resilience to long term FAST crises. The importance of preparedness and planning to help ensure animal welfare, supply chain and business continuity in prolonged emergency responses.16th February 2021: Conclusions. Missed out on any of the sessions? Watch the recordings: https://www.youtube.com/user/EUFMD/videos Watch Dr Alasdair King discuss prioritization of vaccines:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_stc-WpZBM The virtual conference center included rooms for live sessions, workshops, and posters. There were dedicated areas for the OS20 partners to share information about various initiatives, such as the emergence website, emergence podcast and disease animations (-some of these resources can be found in the emergence Knowledge Hub). The organizing team at EuFMD deserve great credit for taking such a big step into the digital world. Such advancements are important because there is no doubt that technology has a significant role to play in reducing the impact of FAST diseases. Banner image 'Livelihoods @ risk in a FASTerworld' by Enrique Anton.
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