Foot-and-mouth disease

Foot-and-mouth disease (sometimes called hoof and mouth disease) is a viral disease that can occur in animals such as cattle, sheep, and swine (cloven-hoofed animals). It is not related in any way to hand-foot-and-mouth disease found in humans—the two diseases are caused by entirely different viruses.

The virus that causes foot-and-mouth disease can be spread from animal to animal by direct contact with an infected animal or by contact with food or other things that have been contaminated. A human who is involved in handling animals can spread the disease from one animal to another through contaminated clothing, footwear, or other contaminated objects.

Last Updated: April 22, 2009

Author: Maria G. Essig, MS, ELS

Medical Review: Michael J. Sexton, MD - Pediatrics & W. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease

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