What is foot and mouth disease, what are its symptoms?

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Foot-and-mouth disease that originated in cattle and small ruminants at 8 different enterprises in recent days has caused serious panic throughout the country. At the enterprises where the disease was noticed, various measures were taken, and cattle markets were closed throughout the country, the transportation and resettlement of animals was prohibited. In addition, by order of the Ministry of Agriculture, the permits of veterinarians, veterinary paramedics and technicians throughout the country were annulled. However, despite all the measures taken, the disease continues to spread. Foot-and-mouth disease has recently appeared in Zonguldak. Foot and mouth disease was found in animals such as cows, sheep and goats, in sheds and cowsheds in Ereglin, Alaply, Kozlu and Gokchebey districts of the center and in different villages. In this regard, 215 villages in the city were quarantined. Well, let’s look at foot and mouth disease, which is a new epidemic concern in Turkey, and what are its symptoms together.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry recently announced the first case of FMD in Turkey.

At the first stage, 8 enterprises were closed where the disease was detected. However, the scope of the measures was expanded, as the disease was noticed in another city. Accordingly, animal markets across the country have been closed until further notice.

It was also forbidden to transport, transport and move animals to any place other than slaughterhouses. On the other hand, at the direction of the Ministry, the permits of veterinarians, veterinary paramedics and technicians were also annulled. However, despite all these measures, the FMD epidemic in the country continues. The disease, which in recent days has been observed in cities such as Denizli, Siirt, Kars and Elazig, has finally appeared in Zonguldak.

215 villages in Zonguldak were quarantined due to foot-and-mouth disease

Foot-and-mouth disease was found in animals found in cowsheds and pens in the villages of Eregli, Alapli, Kozlu and Gokchebey, as well as in the center. Accordingly, 215 villages in the city were quarantined. So, what is the foot-and-mouth disease causing panic and quickly spreading across the country?

Foot and mouth disease is an acute viral infection that can be observed in all two-toed animals, both domestic and wild.

The contagiousness of the disease is quite high. For this reason, it can spread easily in communities with sensitive animals. It has been established that the FMD virus, which belongs to the subgroup of aphthoviruses of the family Picornaviridae, causes the disease of the same name. The disease can be caused by seven different antigenic serotypes of the virus, namely O, A, C, SAT-1, SAT-2, SAT-3 and ASIA 1. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry announced that the SAT-2 serotype has been detected in our country, not previously seen in Turkey.

FMD mortality is very low

So the disease is not fatal to the vast majority of animals it infects. However, it can be fatal, especially in puppies or animals with chronic illnesses. While the disease has a low mortality rate, it can cause serious health problems in animal communities where it occurs due to its high rate and rate of transmission. However, infected animals often experience loss of meat, milk, and labor.

How is FMD transmitted?

foot and mouth disease

The disease is transmitted from carrier animals or from different sources. Mice, birds or other poultry can spread the disease among large flocks. On the other hand, the urine, saliva or faeces of sick animals in a herd can also cause the disease to be transmitted to other animals. Finally, it is indicated that the transport of animals in non-disinfected vehicles is also effective in both transmission and spread of the disease.

What are the symptoms of foot and mouth disease?

foot and mouth disease

Fever, loss of appetite, depression and decreased milk yield are considered the first clinical signs of FMD in cattle. Subsequently, intense salivation begins and bubbles called vesicles appear on the tongue and gums. In addition, various injuries occur on different parts of the body of a sick animal.

The disease is milder in small cattle. The most common symptom seen in sheep is prolonged lameness. However, lesions in the mouth of small ruminants caused by the disease are smaller and less long lasting than those in cattle.

How is it treated?

foot and mouth disease

According to information on the website of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, 3 main strategies are used to combat the disease. These strategies are listed as “slaughter, quarantine and vaccination” by the ministry. Two strategies besides vaccination are used to fight a large number of diseases. The main treatment for the disease is vaccination. In this direction, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry reported that in the regions where the disease was noticed, vaccination studies have begun.

Can the disease be transmitted to humans?

foot and mouth disease

Unfortunately, the answer to this question is yes. Contact with infected animals or eating contaminated meat or dairy products can also lead to FMD infection in humans. However, some experts say that the disease is “rarely” transmitted to humans.

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