What is Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD)?

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What is Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD)? Blog Image


The foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) has affected around 60% of milch cattle in Pilibhit district, Uttar Pradesh.

About Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD)

  • It is a highly contagious viral disease of livestock that has a significant economic impact. The disease affects cattle, swine, sheep, goats, and other cloven-hoofed ruminants.
    • It does not affect horses, dogs, or cats.
    • Intensively reared animals are more susceptible to the disease than traditional breeds.
  • It is a transboundary animal disease (TAD) that deeply affects the production of livestock and disrupts regional and international trade in animals and animal products.
  • It is also not related to hand, foot, and mouth disease, which is a common childhood illness caused by a different virus.
  • The organism which causes FMD is an aphthovirus of the family Picornaviridae.
    • There are seven strains (A, O, C, SAT1, SAT2, SAT3, and Asia1) which are endemic in different countries worldwide.
    • Immunity to one type does not protect an animal against other types or subtypes.
  • FMD is characterised by fever and blister-like sores on the tongue and lips, in the mouth, on the teats, and between the hooves.
  • The disease is rarely fatal in adult animals, but there is often high mortality in young animals.
  • The disease causes severe production losses, and while the majority of affected animals recover, the disease often leaves them weakened and debilitated.
  • It was the first disease for which the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH, founded as OIE) established official status recognition. 

Q1) What is a Virus?

A virus is an infectious microbe consisting of a segment of nucleic acid (either DNA or RNA) surrounded by a protein coat. A virus cannot replicate alone; instead, it must infect cells and use components of the host cell to make copies of itself. Often, a virus ends up killing the host cell in the process, causing damage to the host organism. Well-known examples of viruses causing human disease include AIDS, COVID-19, measles and smallpox.

Source:  FMD disease affects 60 per cent milch cattle in Pilibhit