Foot-And-Mouth Disease Hits South Korea, Government Confirms

By Charles Omedo , Feb 06, 2017 12:29 AM EST

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs in South Korea has on Monday confirmed the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease among cows on a dairy farm 180 km southeast of capital Seoul.

According to an official statement released by the agriculture department, the foot-and-mouth disease hit a farm containing 195 cows in Boeun, North Chungcheong Province, where all the animals tested positive to the disease.

Foot-and-Mouth Disease Does Not Affect Humans

To better contain the disease outbreak, all the animals on the farm have been culled. And the government has issued a warning that people should not come within 3 km radius of the affected farm or any other farms quarantined because of the disease; and no animals from these farms must be moved from one place to the other, Reuters reported.

Foot-and-mouth disease does not affect humans, but it can be very fatal for domestic animals such as pigs, sheep and cows among other cloven-hoofed animals. Meanwhile, the chances of the disease spreading are very slim or minimal considering that South Korea inoculates against the infection.

South Korea, the fourth largest economy in Asia suffered a previous foot-and-mouth disease on March 29, 2016; and considering the fact that the country had been hit with a very severe case of avian influenza in recent months, about 33 million chickens, ducks, turkeys and other farm birds had to be culled to contain the spread of the disease.

Causes, Symptoms and Vaccinations of Animals Against Foot-and-Mouth Disease

According to The Cattle Site, foot-and-mouth disease is caused by seven strains of the same virus - making the disease highly contagious and fatal among swine and cattle. Its symptoms include mouth and feet blisters, fever, weight loss, frothing in mouth and lip quivers, blisters on teats of cows, lameness, and reduction in amount of milk produced among others.

Although animals can be vaccinated against the disease, no treatment is available and affected animals get to recover after some time; but to ward off outbreak to other farms, affected animals are often culled.

While it has been established that humans cannot be affected by the disease, they can transmit it from one farm to the other. A related case is propecia, which is hair loss caused that is not communicable in men but requiring drugs to treat.

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