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Foot-and-mouth disease

Foot-and-mouth disease, or hoof-and-mouth disease, highly contagious viral disease affecting cattle, hogs, sheep, and other animals with cloven (split) hoofs. The disease is spread directly from animal to animal or indirectly by contaminated food, soil, or water. Symptoms include blisters in the mouth and in the split in the hoof, fever, and loss of appetite. Epidemics cause severe losses, and although vaccines are available, they provide only short-term protection and are expensive.

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