Advertisement

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.

Continue Learning about Viral Infections

What You Need to Know About Eastern Equine Encephalitis
What You Need to Know About Eastern Equine Encephalitis
From time to time, an illness called Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) pops up in the news. In July 2019, for instance, the Florida Department of Heal...
Read More
Can I get viral skin infections from pets?
Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhDDr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Many infections caused by contact with pets, the environment around pets or pet waste are bacterial,...
More Answers
What over-the-counter (OTC) medications help treat viral infections?
Univ. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family MedicineUniv. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family Medicine
For children and adults, over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers, decongestants and saline nasal spray...
More Answers
What Time of Year Do Most Viral Infections Occur?
What Time of Year Do Most Viral Infections Occur?

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.