FOOT-AND-MOUTH DISEASE Walsh McDermott a viral infection of animals, chiefly cattle, which occurs in man only with great rarity. Infection, when it does occur in man, presumably results from direct contact with the agent either in the laboratory or from handling the tissues or body fluids of infected animals. The disease in man is characterized by a short incubation period followed by the appearance of a febrile illness with vesicular lesions of palms, soles, and the oropharyngeal mucosa. Neurologic involvement has not been reported, and the disease is self-limited.
There is no treatment of established value; the tetracycline drugs have yielded inconclusive results in the treatment of laboratory animals. Prevention of the disease in man has not been extensively studied, for a man generally has a high degree of resistance to the infection. Spread among cattle is presumably by the airborne route. An effective vaccine for use in cattle has been developed. As in influenza, however, there are many types and subtypes of foot-and-mouth (FMD) virus, and it is believed that for optimal effectiveness the homologous viral strain, i.e., the “epidemic” strain, should be present in the vaccine.
Annotations: Spread of foot-and-mouth disease. FOOT-AND-MOUTH DISEASE Walsh McDermott Lancet, 2:560, 1969. Flaum, A.: Foot-and-mouth disease in man. Acta Path. Micro-biol. Scand., 16:197, 1939. Hyslop, N. St.G., Davie, J., and Carter, S. P.: Antigenic differences between strains of foot-and-mouth disease virus of type SAT 1. J. Hyg. (Comb.), 61:217, 1963.