Foot and mouth disease, commonly referred to as FMD is a highly infectious disease of livestock that affects production and trade can be controlled and prevented. The diseasewhich is caused by a virus also affects wild animals. It is one of the most economically devastating livestock viral disease in the world because it spreads fast and causes losses in production and markets.
FMD virus has 7 types existing worldwide i.e. Type O, A, C, SAT1, SAT3 AND Asia 1. Kenya has been affected by the first 5. The types do not cross-protect against each other during vaccinations.
The virus is inactivated by acid or alkaline hence Magadi Soda is commonly used to reduce the virus in the environment.
FMD can survive in milk and milk products, frozen bone marrow and lymph glands. It can remain active in surfaces for days to weeks and survives drying.
FMD virus primarily affects cloven-hoofed domestic and wild animals such as cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and water buffalo. It can also affect hedgehogs, armadillos, elephants, rats and mice. It does not affect people.
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