Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Foot-and-mouth outbreak in England

goat with lesion on tongue and lower lips (image by British Vet Association)A second herd of cattle in southern England has tested positive for foot-and-mouth disease. The cattle were within the 2-mile-radius protection zone from where the first infected cattle were found.

The source of the infection has not been identified. The first outbreak occurred four miles from a laboratory that produces vaccines containing the same rarely seen strain of foot-and-mouth disease. The outbreaks follow widespread flooding.

News of a second outbreak fed fears of a repeat of 2001, when a foot-and-mouth epidemic in the UK led to the slaughter of millions of animals.

Foot-and-mouth disease affects cloven-hoofed animals, including cows, sheep, pigs and goats, but does not typically affect humans. The United States has been free from foot-and-mouth disease since 1929.

Read Associated Press article at MercuryNews.com.