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FMD and Prevention
Watch this video to learn more about foot-and-mouth disease. 
How does FMD affect consumers?

FMD is not a public health concern but an outbreak could ultimately threaten the entire U.S. economy. Click here to find out more.


What can livestock producers do?
Being prepared and informed is essential in keeping your farm and the U.S. livestock industry free from FMD. Get more information here.

FACT SHEET: FMD and Public Health

What is Foot-and-Mouth Disease?
Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), is a serious animal disease that only affects cloven-hoofed animals including cattle, swine, sheep and goats. FMD is highly contagious among susceptible animals, and outbreaks can have massive economic consequences for agriculture.

Does FMD affect humans?
FMD is not a threat to public health, and is not considered a human health concern.  It also does not affect the safety of meat products.

FMD is not related to Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD), a common childhood illness caused by a very different virus. 

FMD is occasionally confused with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), or “mad cow disease,” which is an unrelated disease of cattle that affects the nervous system.

Could my pets be affected?
FMD does not affect horses, dogs or cats. 

If FMD isn’t a risk to food or people, why is it a problem?
While FMD does not pose a risk to people, the economic consequences of an FMD outbreak in the United States would be dramatic. FMD permanently affects the health and productivity of animals contracting the disease, and therefore, can greatly affect the supply of meat products. If an outbreak did occur, travel would be restricted in affected areas, creating a negative impact on travel and commerce.

What is being done to prevent FMD from entering the United States?
The United States has not had an outbreak of FMD since 1929, thanks to an aggressive program of surveillance and prevention.  U.S. veterinary officials perform more than 800 investigations on suspect animals every year, and strict controls are in place on our borders to prevent livestock from being imported to the U.S. from areas where FMD is endemic. 

Emergency response planning is also a key part of U.S. efforts to combat FMD.  Through drills, exercises and other preparedness activities, emergency personnel are constantly training for an FMD scenario. 

Additional Information
Additional information about FMD and the strategies in place to contain and eradicate the disease if an outbreak occurs is available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

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