Food and Mouth Disease (FMD) Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a severe, highly communicable viral disease of cattle and swine. It also affects sheep, goats, deer, and other cloven-hooved ruminants. FMD is not recognized as a zoonotic disease. This country has been free of FMD since 1929. The disease is characterized by fever and blister-like lesions followed by erosions on the tongue and lips, in the mouth, on the teats, and between the hooves. Many affected animals recover, but the disease leaves them debilitated. It causes severe losses in the production of meat and milk.
U.S. Food Safety It does not affect humans. The disease has no implications for the human food chain.
Testing and Protection Farmers protect against FMD by watching for excessive salivating, lameness, and other signs of FMD in their herd and immediately reporting any unusual or suspicious signs of disease to their veterinarian. There is no cure for the disease, and it usually runs its course in two or three weeks with most animals recovering, although some animals take up to six months to fully recover.