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In Ba Vi, Foot and Mouth Outbreak Affects Nearly 300 Pigs

The highly contagious foot and mouth disease (FMD) has broken out among livestock just 90 minutes outside of central Hanoi, in Ba Vi District. 

Up to 260 pigs are said to have been infected in the area, VnExpress reports. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Department of Animal Health has requested the infected animals be killed.

While current reports conclude that only pigs have been infected with the virus, the disease can spread to other livestock easily through the shared use of contaminated surfaces. In order to prevent further spreading of FMD, local veterinarians have begun to vaccinate cattle in the area. In addition, infected farm equipment has been disinfected with chemicals and lime powder. FMD is the most contagious of all infectious diseases in animals, and mainly affects cows and pigs.

Globally, the disease is estimated to circulate in 77% of livestock populations. FMD is present in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and some parts of South America, while countries in Europe and North America remain FMD-free. The World Organization for Animal Health reports that 75% of the cost of FMD prevention is taken on by low- or middle-income countries.

FMD is a disease that is unrelated to the similarly named ‘foot and mouth’ disease that humans can contract. FMD cannot be transmitted to humans and is not considered to be a public health threat. However, FMD causes severe production losses for farmers whose livestock become infected.

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