Published on 05/03/01

Foot-and-Mouth at Your Fingertips

A new Web site puts foot-and-mouth facts at your fingertips. The "Georgia Livestock" Web site ( from the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences tells about FMD and its potential effects.

Click on graphic to visit Web site.

The threat of having foot-and-mouth disease infect livestock in the United States and Georgia is real, say UGA animal scientists. This viral disease has the potential to cost Georgia livestock farmers millions of dollars.

The best news for most Georgians is that it's not considered a human threat. In a very few cases, humans who have been in direct contact with infected animals have developed mild, flu-like symptoms. No one is known to have gotten the disease from eating meat from infected animals.

Protection, Prevention

Farmers can learn the best ways to protect their livestock if the disease should enter the United States. Further information can help travelers avoid bringing the virus home with them.

"So far, all cases have been traced to animal-to-animal contact within the infected areas or feeding contaminated meat scraps to swine," said Robert Stewart. He coordinates Extension Service programs for the CAES animal and dairy sciences department.

"A ban is already in place on importing animals and animal products from countries where the disease is active," Stewart said. "But we're ready to handle the situation if it arises."