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China reports small outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease

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Chinese agriculture officials are confirming a small outbreak of the highly contagious viral disease of cattle and swine, foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in the northeast province of Liaoning, according to a China Daily report Nov. 25.

Forty-three pigs from a farm in Dalian City of Liaoning showed symptoms of the illness early last week.

Samples from the pigs were tested by The National Foot-and-Mouth Disease Reference Laboratory and were confirmed positive for type O foot-and-mouth disease.

Provincial health authorities have sealed off and began sanitizing of the affected area.

According to the USDA, foot-and-mouth disease is a severe, highly contagious viral disease of cattle and swine. It also affects sheep, goats, deer, and other cloven-hooved ruminants. FMD is not recognized as a zoonotic disease.

The disease is characterized by fever and blister like lesions followed by erosions on the tongue and lips, in the mouth, on the teats, and between the hooves. Most affected animals recover, but the disease leaves them debilitated. It causes severe losses in the production of meat and milk.

Since it spreads widely and rapidly and because it has grave economic as well as clinical consequences, FMD is one of the animal diseases that livestock owners dread most.

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