July 18, 2024

WASHINGTON – U.S. Department of Agriculture veterinary researchers say they are close to cracking the final secrets of the foot and mouth virus. That means veterinary researchers are close to finding vaccinations and preventative measures to the deadly animal disease. The disease takes hold in the back of animals’ throats and advances, said Jonathan Artz, USDA veterinarian. Research is under way to short-circuit the process, he said. Although it doesn’t harm humans, foot and mouth is the most dangerous animal disease in the world. The virus, which is a cousin to polio and the common cold, affects hoofed animals including cattle, hogs, sheep and wild animals such as deer and elk. Although there is no foot and mouth disease in the U.S., it is so deadly and so contagious would virtually destroy the U.S. livestock industry, Artz said. Countries without the disease maintain rigid bans against the livestock from those countries that have incidents of foot and mouth. Franklin County emergency officials have conducted anti-terrorism exercises involving an attack of foot and mouth disease.
Thursday, Dec. 23, 9:30 a.m.

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