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Posted: 4/20/2001 10:40:32 AM EDT
Gee I wonder if that strain stolen from Porton Down Laboratory is going to mutate and cause widespread human infections.


Cases of foot and mouth disease in humans
Scripps Howard News Service
April 17, 2001

- While the U.S. government says there is little danger to humans from the foot-and-mouth epidemic raging in Europe, medical journals document more than 40 cases of transmission of the animal disease to humans, including serious blistering and loss of skin.

There have been no reports of human deaths from the virus, but a March 10 article in the British Medical Journal says there is no doubt the foot-and-mouth virus can be transmitted to humans. Transmissions seem to be rare and result generally in blisters on the hands, mouth and feet that disappear after two weeks.

In one case, though, physicians reported the skin on a patient's feet "peeled off like sandals, in one piece."

"Foot and mouth disease is a zoonosis, a disease transmissible to humans, but it crosses the species barrier with difficulty and with little effect,'' British public health specialists Henry Prempeh and Robert Smith wrote in the British Medical Journal. The article said the strain of the virus most frequently found in humans is the same type 0 foot-and-mouth virus that has infected cloven-hoofed animals in Europe. The type A strain, which is currently found in South America, is rarely detected in humans, they said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta says instances of transmission from animals to human are rare. The agency says it does not recommend a travel ban to Britain, where the outbreak began in February. More than 16 million people came to the United States from a British airport in 1999.

Charles Fallis, a spokesman for the centers, said the agency regards foot-and-mouth as a serious animal disease, "but we don't consider it a zoonosis."

In a statement, the centers said "FMD is not considered a human disease because humans rarely contract FMD; it causes few or mild symptoms in humans when it does occur, and it does not affect the human food chain."

But the centers do urge travelers to take precautions and avoid going into farming areas because humans can transmit the virus to susceptible animals if they come into contact with infected livestock, soil, or objects that have been contaminated with the FMD virus. The FMD virus can easily be carried on articles of clothing and footwear.

Animal specialist Suzanne Millman, who directs scientific programs and sustainable agriculture at the U.S. Humane Society, said that children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems are most at risk of catching the virus.

"It's definitely worth pointing out," Millman said.

The Humane Society is critical of U.S. efforts to prevent the disease from coming to the United States, contending more vaccine should be produced, and preventive measures taken at factory farms that have huge concentrations of livestock. Many U.S. farms have adopted bio-security programs on their own in recent weeks, aimed at keeping international travelers away from animals to avoid transmission.

Medical journals say transmission of the foot-and-mouth virus to humans was first documented in 1834, when three veterinarians got the disease by deliberately drinking raw milk from infected cattle. There also were several outbreaks in the 19th centu
Link Posted: 4/20/2001 10:42:35 AM EDT
Nasty stuff. I can do without it.
Link Posted: 4/20/2001 10:58:40 AM EDT
yea my daughter has it she will not shut up for
one second bla! bla! bla! so she must have foot
and mouth desease.
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