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What is foot-and-mouth disease?

Foot-and-mouth disease, also called hoof-and-mouth disease, is a viral infection that affects animals with cloven (divided) hooves, such as cows, goats, sheep and deer (but not dogs, horses, or cats). It is caused by the FMD virus, part of the Picornaviridae virus family. Because of its name, it's often confused with another disease that affects people, called hand-foot-mouth (or hand, foot and mouth) disease. People can't contract the animal disease, and animals can't contract the human disease. In animals, symptoms of hoof-and-mouth disease include blisters in the mouth and on the feet. It is possible for people to spread the disease to other animals through contaminated clothing, shoes or other objects. Contaminated food, water, vehicles, and buildings can also spread the disease. It can cause the animal pain and even be fatal.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.