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US: Foot and mouth disease preparedness is high priority

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The world knows how quickly a virus can spread, as COVID-19 extends its tendrils throughout the globe. The coronavirus epidemic reminds U.S. livestock producers how critical it is to have a vaccine bank in advance of a foreign animal disease (FAD) threat like foot-and-mouth disease (FMD).

While FMD is not zoonotic (it impacts cloven-hooved animals only), its economic impact would be significant if it were to hit the U.S. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of The United Nations, “the global annual cost of FMD in terms of production losses and the need for prevention by vaccination has been estimated to be approximately $5 billion. In a severe event in 2001 in the United Kingdom, the direct and indirect impacts are estimated to have cost as much as $30 billion.”
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