Health Encyclopedia

Foot-and-Mouth Disease

Foot-and-Mouth Disease

Foot-and-mouth disease (sometimes called hoof-and-mouth disease) is a viral disease that can occur in animals such as cattle, sheep, and swine (cloven-hoofed animals). It is not related in any way to hand-foot-and-mouth disease found in humans. The two diseases are caused by entirely different viruses.

The virus that causes foot-and-mouth disease can be spread from animal to animal by direct contact with an infected animal. Or the virus can be spread by contact with food or other things that have been contaminated. A human who is involved in handling animals can spread the disease from one animal to another through contaminated clothing, footwear, or other contaminated objects.

Last Revised: July 9, 2012

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & W. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease

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