Transmission of Livestock Diseases to Humans
For decades now, death and disease have driven the progress of technology. Through the advancements of science, many diseases have been made obsolete and many more are drawing closer and closer to being conquered. However, with all the diseases that we have defeated, more and more keep appearing. And old diseases that we thought we were protected against have made comebacks. An example of this is Foot and Mouth Disease. "Since 1930 the United States of America has prohibited the importation of livestock and fresh, chilled, or frozen meat from countries in which rinderpest or foot-and-mouth disease exist," (Publication 1343, 49). The United States is considered a Foot and Mouth Disease Free country. However, that does not mean that we have not been active in trying to get rid of FMD in other countries. There was an Argentine-United States Joint commission on FMD held in 1966. In a report on this meeting it was stated that, "The conditions under which the virus of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) survives in animal tissues have long been matters of fundamental interest to all officials concerned with the prevention and control of the disease," (Publication 1343, 3). There was a CENTO Seminar on Viral Diseases held in Istanbul, Turkey on June 12-17, 1972. This seminar had a special emphasis on FMD and rinderpest-like diseases. A discussion of disease-free zones and the regulations for these zones was brought up (Girard 93). Some of the stated regulations included complete control of domestic livestock movement, traffic of persons to and from an area that has been quarantined should be restricted and if an outbreak would occur, no animals can be exported, all the animals in the infected area should be slaughtered and the area should remain in quarantine and clear of stock for at least one month, (Girard 93).
"FMD is caused by an aphthovirus of the family Picornavridae," (Aiello 457). This virus is spread both directly and indirectly. It is readily airborne and can be spread by the movement of animals, people and vehicles. "Infected animals have a large amount of aerosol virus in their exhaled air, which can infect other animals via the respiratory or oral routes," (Aiello 457). "All excretions and secretions from the infected animal contain virus, and virus may be present in milk and semen for up to 4 days before clinical signs appear," (Aiello 457). "Milk tankers carrying infected milk have been implicated in the spread of disease between farms, (Aiello 457).
FMD affects cloven-hoofed animals, which includes cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, buffalo, artriodactyl wildlife species, and all species of deer, antelope, elephant and giraffe (Aiello 457). The disease is characterized by fever, vesicles in the mouth and on the muzzle, teats and feet, and will result in death in young animals. Symptoms found in dairy cattle include a general malaise, lameness, secondary infections,...