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Word Count: 416
Foot and mouth disease also called FMD or hoof and mouth disease affects cloven-hoofed animals such as swine cattle goats deer and sheep This disease often causes epidemics The symptoms are characterized by a sudden rise in temperature loss of appetite loss of weight eruption of blisters occurring in the mouth on areas of tender skin such as the udder in females and on the feet Blisters may also appear in the animals nostrils Salivation and an almost constant smacking of the lips may accompany these symptoms The blisters begin to grow in size and then break exposing raw eroded surfaces Discharge from the blisters is heavily infected with the virus as well as saliva milk urine and other secretions Eating becomes difficult and painful for the animal The soft tissue under the hoof becomes inflamed due to the exposed blister and the animal becomes lame and may shed its hooves The livestock raised for meat lose a significant amount of weight And dairy cattle and goats give less milk Often the disease kills very young animals and may cause pregnant females to abort The disease is spread through the air or by contact through contaminated food water and soil The carriers of the disease are usually rats dogs birds wild animals and frozen meats The disease is highly contagious with nearly one hundred percent of exposed animals becoming infected If the disease became widespread in any country there would be disastrous economic consequences Many precautions are being taken to minimize the risk of danger for animals and humans The disinfections of contaminated material quarantine slaughter and complete disposal of infected animals are used to limit the risk of contamination Many farmers and civilians do not support the actions of slaughtering so many animals The National Farmers Union of England and Wales NFU describe it as grim but necessary to rein the current plague The epidemic is devastating and is only getting
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