Foot And Mouth Disease Outbreak Due to U.K Wet Weather on the cards?

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Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Have a theory on Foot and Mouth Disease Outbreaks Corresponding with unusually wet weather in the United Kingdom.

Made a prediction for the last outbreak of F&M based on the widespread floods. The flooded areas were affected and this was related to the location of Pirbright Labs and localised virus sources. Nevertheless, the cattle were exposed to severe floods, high humidity which brings the animals immunity and temperature down to a level that enables infection to take place.

I Now want to stick my neck out and make another prediction.

I predict that Foot and Mouth Disease will plague the farming industry once again due to this unusually wet summer. Swine vesicular Fever and Blue-tongue also follow a similar pattern in relation to damp weather.

It is so wet here in Devon that Truffles have been found in gardens according to local news.

Already, people with skin conditions including eczema and psoriasis, are reporting increased problems.

Dry air is required to increase circulation. High Humidity compromises circulation causing a breakdown in tissue in hoof and mouth as the animal’s immune system and body temperature is lowered leaving it prone to infectious organisms.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Sudden adult death syndrome, and deaths of the infirm will also increase statistically.

Multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and other neurological conditions will follow similar increases in diagnosis and relapses from those diagnosed.

Just hope we do not get a Bird Flu Outbreak to top it all off.

Fingers crossed and watching the news closely.

Hopefully I am wrong but I doubt it.  [;)]

Andrew K Fletcher



Other realated thread:
http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=12733.0 

The information below was added 09/08/08 to remind readers of the way politicians managed F&M during the last major Nationwide outbreak.

Lest we forget!
http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/lest_we_forget.htm

Meanwhile an outbreak occurred in Holland. The Dutch implemented an immediate programme of vaccination, which suppressed the disease almost at once. The vaccinated animals were all slaughtered, but that was only done to satisfy the EU and its fears about its meat trading status. In Britain, the carnage, which had already seemed unimaginably barbaric, was about to enter an even more cataclysmic stage. The professor’s computer, like some latter day insatiable Moloch, demanded more and more blood sacrifices. The hit squads, by now not only officials but also the army, were roaming the countryside shooting, bludgeoning and drowning perfectly healthy animals.

The anecdotes from this period read like a lunatic’s account of a madman’s war. A mistake in a map grid reference caused the deaths, not only of a farmer’s livestock, but also his children’s pets. Other stock were killed through clerical error. 20,000 animals in Devon were saved at the last minute when a mistaken diagnosis was discovered. Pregnant sheep were shot at random while they climbed over the corpses of their fellows. Houses were broken into so that pets could be slaughtered. Mounds of carcases lay neglected and rotting in the fields, others were transported in lorries through hitherto unaffected areas with blood dripping onto the roads. Funeral pyres sent clouds of reeking smoke across housing estates. Burial pits containing up to half a million corpses leached blood and gore into water supplies. Thousands had to be dug up again.

It was at this point, towards the end of April, that Prof King announced that the disease was "totally under control". The election, which had now been put off to June, was uppermost in political minds and the spin-doctors took over. Suddenly the slaughter of healthy cattle was not so important and sheep were put in the firing line as the main spreaders of the virus. This had the other considerable political advantage that the EU had decreed that Britain was overpopulated with sheep anyway. From now on, it would be presentation that mattered. By now the total number of outbreaks had risen to 1,517. MAFF began to present only daily figures and wiped all the historical data off its web site. Slaughterings were reclassified so that they did not appear in the daily headline figure. Outbreaks were only included when they had been confirmed by subsequent testing. Farmers in Cumbria claimed that 24 outbreaks in their area had been reported by MAFF as only 9. Most sinister of all was a sudden conversion by MAFF vets from a tendency to label every suspicious case as FMD to a reluctance to admit that even the most obvious cases were the disease at all.

Dr Paul Kitchen, Britain’s leading expert on the disease, had been the most vehement critic of Prof Anderson’s computer. In the face of the way the election date had been changed, with the computer predictions following conveniently, he resigned his post as deputy head of Pirbright and took up a post in Canada.

In May, as the election campaign warmed up, the situation became really weird. The media, and particularly the BBC, were lulled into a remarkable quietude by the presentation skills of the spin-doctors. They behaved as if the crisis were all but over. Out in the real world of the British countryside the slaughter had entered a new crescendo. The daily average of animals killed reached a startling 32,000. The total number of deaths was now 6 million, nearly a tenth of Britain’s entire livestock. Ministers decreed the opening up of the countryside with photo-opportunities at appropriate tourist sites. Meanwhile, in places like Devon, Cumbria and Dumfries, the terror was being inflicted with greater intensity than ever. A few horror stories about armed gangs breaking in to slaughter pets leaked into the media. Farmers and animal sanctuary proprietors had begun legal challenges, many of which MAFF gave up on without a fight, by now being well aware that its actions had been quite illegal.

When another outbreak occurred in a new area, Settle in Yorkshire, MAFF suddenly refused to put the figures on its web site, citing the Data Protection Act as a reason. Secret mass burials were being carried out at the dead of night in ordinary landfill sites. Death squads of MAFF officials, backed up by dozens of policemen in riot gear, roamed the villages of Devon shooting every animal in sight. It was one of the most extraordinary examples of mass law-breaking in history, and all carried out be Government officials.

Tony Blair won his great gamble. Like his predecessor in large majority government, Margaret Thatcher, he was returned to power not by public enthusiasm for his own policies, but rather by the suicidal tendencies in the opposition. The aftermath was just as sordid as the conduct of the crisis itself. No official was punished for the massive breaches of the law. The only recognition that they had occurred was the Government’s seeking powers to slaughter more legally in future. Calls from many influential sources for a full inquiry were ignored and the Government spin-doctors dreamed up a scheme of three innocuous mini-inquiries as a substitute. MAFF had its name changed to DEFRA, but they were the same people in the same offices with the same mind set. In the week after the election 80,000 animals were killed and in the following week 93,000. The government also began to speak of restricting farming to those with licences to carry it out.

The epidemiologists had the last word. Prof Anderson claimed in an article in Nature that one million animals and four hundred farms could have been saved if his cull policy had been "fully enforced". Even more bizarrely, Prof King stated in a TV interview that next time "vaccination would have to be top of the agenda", not explaining why next time would be different from the last. Nearly eight million animals, one eighth of all those in Britain and most of them healthy, had been slain. Mass bankruptcies occurred throughout the rural economy. Industries ranging from hotel chains to hot air balloon manufacturers were devastated. The total cost to the British economy was in the range 10 to 20 billion pounds. Promises of Government aid faded away in the miasma of bureaucratic manoeuvring and EU regulation.

And, as occurred in Holland, it could all have been avoided with a simple programme of vaccination. It was all done in the name of a theoretical disease free status, which had ironically been invented by the British. Above all, it was yet another triumph for the science of epidemiology. If you think such an ironic remark unduly provocative, consider the summing up a year later by Professor David King, the UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser, who described the handling of the foot-and-mouth epidemic as "quite an achievement . . . a magnificent record". He told the BBC Today programme that securing Britain’s status as an FMD-free country was a cause for "celebration". Members of the European Parliament, among others, took rather a different view.



« Last Edit: 30/08/2008 13:04:26 by Andrew K Fletcher »
Science is continually evolving. Nothing is set in stone. Question everything and everyone. Always consider vested interests as a reason for miss-direction. But most of all explore and find answers that you are comfortable with

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Offline Bored chemist

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Funny, I thought F+M was caused by a virus and that the reason it wasn't here was because we quarantined the virus.
The outbreak from Pirbirght was due to shoddy procedures and equipment.
Please disregard all previous signatures.

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Offline Moron

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and I predict that due to the recent wet weather, farmers will get muddy boots!

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Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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BC you can't quarantine a virus. The virus is here all the time. Just takes adverse weather and high humidity to lower the animals resisence to the pathogen and we have another outbreak. The virus may or may not have come from Pirbright, but let us remember that Pirbright must have isolated the virus from a former outbreak.

RE Muddy Boots. During all of the last major outbreaks of F&M in the UK farmers and veterinary surgeons have indeed been knee deep in mud, urine and cow dung. But more to the point so were the farm animals. Was it a coincidence that these animals that developed the disease were in low lying river valley areas and subject to serious flooding?

Funny, I thought F+M was caused by a virus and that the reason it wasn't here was because we quarantined the virus.
The outbreak from Pirbirght was due to shoddy procedures and equipment.
Science is continually evolving. Nothing is set in stone. Question everything and everyone. Always consider vested interests as a reason for miss-direction. But most of all explore and find answers that you are comfortable with

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Offline rosalind dna

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Andrew if your analysis of the causes for the UK's animals getting foot and mouth is because
of wet conditions, floods.

Then how come that F & M has not occured this summer and it's been a wet one?
Rosalind Franklin was my first cousin and one my life's main regrets is that I never met this brilliant and beautiful lady.
She discovered the Single DNA Helix in 1953, then it was taken by Wilkins without her knowledge or agreeement.

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Offline rosy

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Eh? You can, and people do, impose quarantines for viruses. They don't actually transfer by magic, if infected and uninfected animals/people are kept seperate then the chances of disease transfer are greatly reduced.

The effectiveness of the quarantine is somewhat dependent on the resiliance of the virus and whether and for how long it can survive in the environment outside the organism.

I don't know what the infection mechanism of FMD is, but certainly skin tends to be softened by being wet all the time so if animals are in a damp field they might be more likely to get cuts on their feet so if that's a common infection route then it might be up a bit... but FMD is a systemic rather than a local disease as I understand it, so I don't think the state of the feet is particularly important otherwise.

A far more likely reason for increased transmission, I'd have thought, in particularly wet weather is that if there's lots of surface water washing from one field to another then it will facilitate transmission between herds.

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Offline Bored chemist

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"Was it a coincidence that these animals that developed the disease were in low lying river valley areas and subject to serious flooding? "
Not entirely, the drains from the lab ran downhill in the way drains usually do.
The idea that bad weather causes F+M is odd to say the least, wet Summers are not rare in the UK but F+M outbreaks are.
Also, please dont waste time saying things like "you can't quarantine a virus.", at least not while you live in a country that has been kept free of rabies for decades. Also, don't say "The virus is here all the time." unless you have real evidence to back it up.
Please disregard all previous signatures.

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Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2008%5C07%5C12%5Cstory_12-7-2008_pg12_11
Rainy season linked to foot-and-mouth disease in Landhi
Daily Times Monitor

KARACHI: Experts who recently published their study on the world’s largest buffalo colony, which happens to be right here in Karachi, have urged farmers and the government to carry out double vaccinations to prevent the spread of foot-and-mouth disease which is endemic in Pakistan.

According to the paper - ‘Epidemiology of foot-and-mouth disease in Landhi Dairy Colony, Pakistan, the world largest Buffalo colony’ - published in Virology Journal in April, experts have studied the disease in the Landhi Dairy Colony (LDC), located in the suburbs of Karachi. LDC is the largest buffalo colony in the world, with more than 300,000 animals (around 95% buffaloes and 5% cattle, as well as an unknown number of sheep and goats). Each month from April 2006 to April 2007 the experts collected mouth-swabs from apparently healthy buffaloes and cattle.

The tests showed that the infection was endemic in the colony, with peaks in August 2006, December 2006 and February 2007 to March 2007. There was a significant link to the rainy seasons, which includes the coldest time of the year and Eid. They discovered that 88% of all questioned farmers vaccinate their animals.

The experts suggested twice annual mass vaccination of all buffaloes and cattle in the colony as part of a control programme. These mass vaccinations should best take place shortly before the beginning of the two rainy periods, e.g. in June and September. Those vaccinations should be in addition to the already individually performed vaccinations of single animals, as the latter usually targets only newly introduced animals. This suggested combination of mass vaccination of all large ruminants with the already performed individually vaccination should provide a continuous high level of herd immunity in the entire colony.

Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a highly contagious and economically important disease caused by foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV). Animals that can be affected include cattle, buffaloes, sheep, goats, pigs and wild ruminants.

FMD is endemic in Pakistan and causes huge economic losses to commercial cattle and buffalo owners. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) there are no proper arrangements for providing vaccine to the farmers and the open market is flooded with uncontrolled vaccine of doubtful efficiency.

FMD is considered endemic in both Pakistan and the neighbouring countries of India, Afghanistan, Iran and China and those serotypes are a continued problem in Pakistan.

Pakistan considers itself as having a seasonal, low-level, sporadic occurrence of FMD (Pakistan reported around 10–30 outbreaks per year until year 2000 after which no information is available). Animals are only vaccinated upon request and the yearly number of vaccine doses used varies between 12,000 to 95,000 doses for cattle and 7,000 to 60,000 for buffaloes in the years from 1997–2002 (no data available after 2002). This amount of vaccine is likely in addition to an unknown amount of open market, uncontrolled vaccines, but is nevertheless not much considering that Pakistan has a population of 51.1 million cattle, 56.9 million buffaloes, 50.3 million sheep and 123.9 million goats.

The majority of commercial dairy farmers is vaccinating its animals against FMD, either with imported trivalent vaccine, e.g. Aftovax (Merial, France), or with a locally produced monovalent vaccine (serotype O). Major challenges to control FMD in Pakistan relate, in part, to the lack of sufficient resources for diagnosis and continuous FMD genotype surveillance, but also the difficulties of controlling the vaccine market, as well as the lack of basic biosecurity awareness and control of animal movements. The latter is also hampered by the annual religious festival Eid ul-Adza, where thousands of buffaloes, cattle




The virus can be destroyed by high heat, low humidity, or some disinfectants, but may remain viable on contaminated objects or in frozen or chilled carcasses and animal byproducts for up to two years (USDA, 1994; MAFF, 2001). The disease spreads by exposure to infected or "carrier" animals or contaminated equipment, facilities, vehicles, roads, and common materials used in animal husbandry. Humans and other nonsusceptible animals may spread the disease. International travelers may spread the disease via contaminated clothing and shoes or by carrying contaminated food products across international borders. Long-distance spread can occur under certain conditions of topography, atmospheric conditions, high humidity, and wind (USDA, 1994; EUFMD, 2001).
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0HIC/is_3_16/ai_80848245
Science is continually evolving. Nothing is set in stone. Question everything and everyone. Always consider vested interests as a reason for miss-direction. But most of all explore and find answers that you are comfortable with

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Offline Bored chemist

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The important bits there are
"The tests showed that the infection was endemic in the colony," and
"FMD is endemic in Pakistan"
Also "The virus can be destroyed by high heat, low humidity, or some disinfectants, but may remain viable on contaminated objects or in frozen or chilled carcasses and animal byproducts for up to two years "
So, since there was more than a 2 year break, the virus had to have cme from somewher other than the fields.

Please disregard all previous signatures.

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Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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The important bits:
As you state low humidity destroys the virus. Therefore High humidity must contribute to its survival and infection rate.

Infected animals were taken into warm clean dry laboratory conditions to be studied and they all recovered completely. Fact!

Special high humidity chambers are being manufactured to study infected animals in, so that they remain infected.

Animals in arid / dry areas, providing there is no artificially high humidity from intensive irrigations systems remain unafected.

Animals in flood plains deluged by rain become suseptable. Ironically so do human offspring and adults. High humidity lowers both animal and human abilities to combat infections.

http://www.namibian.com.na/2008/August/national/081B52DB93.html
Friday, August 1, 2008 - Web posted at 8:50:59 AM GMT
Foot-and-mouth disease SOS in the Kavango
BRIGITTE WEIDLICH
THE Ministry of Agriculture stopped all livestock movements in all regions north of the veterinary cordon fence yesterday following an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in the Kavango Region near Divundu.
The temporary ban includes grass, thatch and "other plant material", which may also not be transported, and meat exports from the Oshakati abattoir have also been stopped until further notice.
Four surveillance teams have been deployed and the results of laboratory tests are expected by Saturday.
"The immediate area around Kamutjona village in the Mukwe constituency 16 kilometres south-east of Divundu has been designated as a containment zone," Andrew Ndishishi, Permanent Secretary in the Agriculture Ministry, said in a statement yesterday afternoon.
"The outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is suspected to have been transmitted from wild buffalo in the nearby Mohambo Game Park, which are long-term carriers of the FMD virus."
Roadblocks have been set up in the area, where 15 cattle with FMD were detected at four homesteads on Monday.
The area around Kamutjona village is home to about 900 cattle belonging to villagers.
"A temporary but complete ban of livestock movement from region to region in the whole buffer zone has been imposed, which are the areas north of the veterinary cordon fence.
The areas include the Kavango, Oshikoto, Oshana, Ohangwena and Kunene Regions," Ndishishi said. "Cattle in quarantine camps awaiting slaughter will be allowed to be processed at the Oshakati abattoir, but a moratorium on meat exports from there has been imposed," Ndishishi added. The restrictions were necessary to allow the Directorate of Veterinary services to fully investigate the extent of the FMD outbreak A gradual lifting of the restrictions will be announced in due course. Due to an earlier outbreak of FMD in the Caprivi Region this year, livestock movements there have been stopped already and the abattoir at Katima Mulilo has closed down for the time being..


We shall have to wait and see if there is another outbreak on the cards due to this unusually wet summer.

Andrew

« Last Edit: 16/08/2008 19:05:46 by Andrew K Fletcher »
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Offline Bored chemist

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"As you state low humidity destroys the virus. Therefore High humidity must contribute to its survival and infection rate."
Damp might help, but the UK is generally damp. There generally isn't any virus about so we don't get outbreaks.

"Infected animals were taken into warm clean dry laboratory conditions to be studied and they all recovered completely. Fact!"
Most anoimals infected with FMD survive so there's nothing special about this observation.

"Animals in arid / dry areas, providing there is no artificially high humidity from intensive irrigations systems remain unafected."
The disease in endemic in much of Africa, Asia, and South America. They can't all be wet all the time.
Outbreaks tend not to occur in Winter when the weather is at it's coldest and wettest.

If there's another outbreak of FMD this year it will be traced (as the 1967, 2001, and 2007 outbreaks were) to a source of the virus.

Please disregard all previous signatures.

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Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Glad you mentioned the last outbreaks because every single one of them was plagued with widespread floods.
Science is continually evolving. Nothing is set in stone. Question everything and everyone. Always consider vested interests as a reason for miss-direction. But most of all explore and find answers that you are comfortable with

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Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Complicated development of cattle and poultry diseases warned
09:31' 24/07/2008 (GMT+7) 
 
Pigs suffering from blue ear disease are culled.
 
VietNamNet Bridge - Over the past two weeks, in the whole country, two more "outbreaks" of bird flu disease have been reported in provinces of Dong Thap and Nghe An, blue ear diseases have occurred in six more provinces, in which Quang Tri, Thua Thien – Hue and Ba Ria – Vung Tau have been hardest hit, while foot-and-mouth diseases in Cao Bang and Quang Ninh have been gradually controlled.

The announcement is made by the Veterinary Department at a meeting in Hanoi on July 22 by the National Steering Board For Bird Flu Control and Prevention.

The Board said that the resistance of cattle and poultry will reduce in the coming time due to abnormal weather conditions, thus the danger of new outbreaks occurrence is still looming large, increasing the danger of blue ear epidemic spread, threatening the Central Highlands and the South Eastern provinces.

So, the Board requests localities to strictly monitor and stamp out the outbreaks of the diseases. Localities which are yet to be hit by the diseases should get ready chemicals and money and other means so as to actively cope with the diseases, if any.
 http://english.vietnamnet.vn/social/2008/07/795197/


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Offline rosalind dna

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Glad you mentioned the last outbreaks because every single one of them was plagued with widespread floods.

Andrew it has been a wet summer this year but no signs of FMD so
that your theories for once don't seem to corrobrate with studies.
Rosalind Franklin was my first cousin and one my life's main regrets is that I never met this brilliant and beautiful lady.
She discovered the Single DNA Helix in 1953, then it was taken by Wilkins without her knowledge or agreeement.

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Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Hi Rosalind dna

My prediction is that an outbreak is on the cards, not that it has happened already. We shall have to wait and see if this prediction has any merit.

Quote
Andrew it has been a wet summer this year but no signs of FMD so
that your theories for once don't seem to corrobrate with studies.
Science is continually evolving. Nothing is set in stone. Question everything and everyone. Always consider vested interests as a reason for miss-direction. But most of all explore and find answers that you are comfortable with

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Offline GBSB

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My prediction is that an outbreak is on the cards,

I don’t think that is in the card.

You have presented strong point about unusually wheat weather along with widespread of floods in UK and the Foot and Mouth Disease Outbreaks


not that it has happened already.

According to your statement it already has happened (1967, 2001 and 2007)
Quote
last outbreaks because every single one of them was plagued with widespread floods.


We shall have to wait and see if this prediction has any merit.

I don’t think that the outbreak of foot and mouth disease will happen this year because this summer is wheat above average but is les wheat than last summer. The last summer it was a widespread of floods. This year we didn’t have widespread of floods, at least not yet.

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Offline rosalind dna

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Hi Rosalind dna

My prediction is that an outbreak is on the cards, not that it has happened already. We shall have to wait and see if this prediction has any merit.

Quote
Andrew it has been a wet summer this year but no signs of FMD so
that your theories for once don't seem to corrobrate with studies.

Andrew I think that if that's so then the weather had better warm up a bit
which I doubt that is a possibility this year.

« Last Edit: 25/08/2008 20:59:27 by rosalind dna »
Rosalind Franklin was my first cousin and one my life's main regrets is that I never met this brilliant and beautiful lady.
She discovered the Single DNA Helix in 1953, then it was taken by Wilkins without her knowledge or agreeement.

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Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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GSBG
Humidity is the important factor here not how wet the soil is. These animals require sunlight like the rest of us in order to flourish. Typically British weather often lacks sunlight. But this year we appear to be experiencing some unusual summer weather. Hopefully the winter may bring some dryer weather.

Even in desert conditions Excessive Irrigation often provides a river valley with very high humidity, This is often followed by an increase in viral and bacterial pathogen outbreaks, some very serious and life threatening. In addition Foot and mouth disease is also found in these artificially high humid environments.

In the UK we experience a fair amount of rainfall compared to many other countries. Our winters often bring with them the floods you mention. The ground water levels are already high. Ireland for example has experienced floods already so has Wales and Leicester.

There appears to be an uneven distribution of rainfall lately around the globe, with some areas experiencing severe drought yet other areas experiencing widespread floods. Africa has been experiencing some unusually high rainfalls in areas and this has followed with the appearance of foot and mouth disease and other viral outbreaks.

The First World War gives us another example of influenza pandemic killing millions of soldiers and civilians and crossing from country to country with little to no hope of containing it. This time was also the time of some unusually wet weather with soldiers suffering from trench foot due to the swamplike conditions.

In the Late Tudor Period the sweating sickness killed millions also. The Historic recording for it easing was a tempest that swept away the unusually foul air. Meaning High Humidity.



My prediction is that an outbreak is on the cards,

I don’t think that is in the card.

You have presented strong point about unusually wheat weather along with widespread of floods in UK and the Foot and Mouth Disease Outbreaks


not that it has happened already.

According to your statement it already has happened (1967, 2001 and 2007)
Quote
last outbreaks because every single one of them was plagued with widespread floods.


We shall have to wait and see if this prediction has any merit.

I don’t think that the outbreak of foot and mouth disease will happen this year because this summer is wheat above average but is les wheat than last summer. The last summer it was a widespread of floods. This year we didn’t have widespread of floods, at least not yet.
Science is continually evolving. Nothing is set in stone. Question everything and everyone. Always consider vested interests as a reason for miss-direction. But most of all explore and find answers that you are comfortable with

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Offline Bored chemist

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Two points.
We get a lot of wet Winters and very few outbreaks. So when you write "Glad you mentioned the last outbreaks because every single one of them was plagued with widespread floods." you need to explain why lots of other outbreaks didn't happen.

Places like Vietnam etc which you keep citing have endemic FMD. The UK doesn't.
What the virus does in bad weather  is one thing. What bad weather does in the absense of the virus is another.

Do you not understand that
1 You need the virus to get FMD.
2 The UK doesn't generally have that virus?
Please disregard all previous signatures.

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Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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BC

You argue that the wild animals in Africa are responsible for maintaining the virus so that it can be spread back to livestock. Can I ask you why the wild dear and wild boar can't also be doing the same in the UK?
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Offline GBSB

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Andrew,
Every sentence of your reply is worth discussion. But for now I like to concentrate on the foot and mouth disease outbreak in UK. I think that it can be discovered important puzzle that will enable further discovery.
First of all I am not sure that humidity is the main factor because in Florida is far more humidity than in UK. However I don’t exclude possibility that you are right. To agree or to disagree about that point I need more information.

Second; I don’t think that lack of sun is a factor that contributing to outbreak of foot and mouth disease. On the other side I don’t exclude possibility that you are right on this point.

For now I am interesting to know what the all three outbreak (1967, 2001 and 2007) have in common.

According to your posts, every outbreak of FMD has happened immediately after widespread of flooding.

Widespread flooding isn’t always followed wit FDM outbreak (is rarely followed wit outbreak of FMD).

FMD never happened without widespread of flooding.

This is how I have understood. To avoid misunderstanding on the beginning of discussion, please correct me if I am wrong.

Luka


GSBG
Humidity is the important factor here not how wet the soil is. These animals require sunlight like the rest of us in order to flourish. Typically British weather often lacks sunlight. But this year we appear to be experiencing some unusual summer weather. Hopefully the winter may bring some dryer weather.

Even in desert conditions Excessive Irrigation often provides a river valley with very high humidity, This is often followed by an increase in viral and bacterial pathogen outbreaks, some very serious and life threatening. In addition Foot and mouth disease is also found in these artificially high humid environments.

In the UK we experience a fair amount of rainfall compared to many other countries. Our winters often bring with them the floods you mention. The ground water levels are already high. Ireland for example has experienced floods already so has Wales and Leicester.

There appears to be an uneven distribution of rainfall lately around the globe, with some areas experiencing severe drought yet other areas experiencing widespread floods. Africa has been experiencing some unusually high rainfalls in areas and this has followed with the appearance of foot and mouth disease and other viral outbreaks.

The First World War gives us another example of influenza pandemic killing millions of soldiers and civilians and crossing from country to country with little to no hope of containing it. This time was also the time of some unusually wet weather with soldiers suffering from trench foot due to the swamplike conditions.

In the Late Tudor Period the sweating sickness killed millions also. The Historic recording for it easing was a tempest that swept away the unusually foul air. Meaning High Humidity.



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Offline Bored chemist

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BC

You argue that the wild animals in Africa are responsible for maintaining the virus so that it can be spread back to livestock. Can I ask you why the wild dear and wild boar can't also be doing the same in the UK?

Liar.
I never said that.
Please disregard all previous signatures.

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Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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The word endemic also implies that the virus is maintained in the wild population of animals. Sorry if this was taken out of context.

However calling me a liar over something as minor as a misunderstanding tells people a lot more about you BC than it does about me.

I Bet you wouldnt say this to my face!
« Last Edit: 28/08/2008 07:54:40 by Andrew K Fletcher »
Science is continually evolving. Nothing is set in stone. Question everything and everyone. Always consider vested interests as a reason for miss-direction. But most of all explore and find answers that you are comfortable with

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IMPORTANT PLEASE READ THIS!
FOOT & MOUTH IS LINKED IRREFUTABLY TO THE WEATHER!

HOW MANY MORE OUTBREAKS OF FOOT AND MOUTH WILL IT TAKE?
Started: 04/04/01 Date:29/04/01
NOTE:
Pages 9-11 contain an astonishing amount of evidence, which supports this paper. Relevant Data relating to the impact of meteorological conditions are extracted from two reports from The Committee of Inquiry on Foot-and-Mouth Disease 1967/1968 Epidemic. Part 1 and Part 2. Received from HM Stationary Office on the 24th April 2001 20 days after I began writing this paper.
Foot and Mouth Disease
Important Reference: "Weather', June, 1969 "Effects of wind and precipitation on the spread of Foot-and-mouth disease. PB Wright, Meteorological Office, Bracknell. pp204-213 (Page 8 independent study results)
Recent News broadcasts are finally focusing on changes in the weather. Unfortunately, misguided information is leading the media and the public to believe that it is the sunlight and UV light that is assisting the recent decline in outbreaks. This is clearly not the case and as you read through this report you will find an overwhelming amount of evidence which points to humidity rain and wind as the major components for the spread of foot and mouth disease.
The survival Time of the virus, once airborne, is determined chiefly by the humidity; below 60% relative humidity the virus soon becomes inactivated (Barlow,1972, Donaldson 1972), but in moister air the survival time is measured in days. Despite some early speculations that the virus is susceptible to sunlight, the evidence suggests that any such effect is extremely small (Druet and May 1969). The effect of temperature on the virus has not been examined, but studies with other viruses suggest that it is secondary to that of relative humidity (Amers 1969). (TEXT and Ref's by R.M.Blackall and J.Gloster Meteorological Office, Bracknall 1981)
Once gravity is accepted as the primary cause of circulation, (experimental evidence is irrefutable), it becomes clear to understand why foot and mouth disease affects the flesh around the hooves of grazing animals. It is not a coincidence that hooves, tusks and even finger and toenails occur where they do. They are merely disposal sites for heavy substances, which arrive, where they do because of gravity! It is no coincidence that we, the most vertical of all species, are the most successful! Gravity is evolution!
The specific gravity of urine for instance was used to determine whether gravity driven circulation could be taking place in humans and animals, In a similar process. For example respiration causes water to evaporate from the lungs and respiratory tract. Fluids remaining in the body contain minerals and must therefore be concentrated by the loss of mineral free water (evaporation). Gravity causes the heavy solution to be drawn back through the lining of the lungs and respiratory tract and down through the vessels in the body, carrying dissolved oxygen with it. Concentrated solutions arrive at the bladder via the kidneys where they are excreted in the urine. However the kidneys are not 100% efficient and some minerals arrive in the lowest anatomical extremities, solidifying as finger and toenails or horses hooves etc. Clippings of which sink when dropped into water.
RESULTS:
5 degree to the horizontal head down tilt over one week decreased the specific gravity of urine to a near zero reading.
5 degree to the horizontal head up tilt over one week significantly increased the specific gravity of urine when compared to horizontal bedrest.
Conclusion:
Gravity does indeed play an important roll in renal function! Toxins leave the body more efficiently when the human body is correctly aligned with the direction of gravity.
The physiology of pig is very close to humans. So close in fact that pig is now used to cultivate replacement organs for humans. (Heart valve replacement, one example). One could deduce that many of today’s illnesses affecting us could also be affecting pig and visa-versa. In fact almost all of the drugs used in veterinary practice today have a human equivalent which in many cases is identical to those prescribed to animals in all but the name of the drug.
(See Pages 5 &6 Health news)
It is also worth remembering that many of these drugs have been tested on animals before entering the £ multi-billion consumer marketplaces, which currently satisfies the medical and scientific industries.
Towards the end of the year 2000, while driving past a pig farm on three occasions, I noticed that the animals were walking around ankle deep in water, mud, urine and excrement. Due undoubtedly to the excessive rainfall Britain was experiencing at the time and I remember thinking to myself that these unfortunate animals were exposed to environmental factors that could not be healthy to say the least.
If scientists were correct about the physiological similarities between pigs and humans, then these pigs were in real trouble due to the appalling weather conditions they were exposed to.
ANALOGY
Take a thousand people, strip them naked and leave them to face the same elements and water logged fields we have seen here in Britain for six months and see how many of us survive. Of course this would be considered inhumane and could never happen to humans, but it is happening!- all the time to pigs and other farm animals?
Remember that long soak in the bath or spending too long at the swimming baths. Toes feet and fingers that looked like they belonged to someone much older, all wrinkled and horrible. Soldiers on manoeuvres in tropical regions face foot rot due to the wet and humid conditions. Jungle fever, leprosy, typhoid and many other diseases abound in such environments. Or do they? Could it be that the adverse environment reduces our resistance to many of these illnesses? Wet weather certainly affects our health and is bore out by the sudden increase in deaths among the elderly every Autumn and Winter. Sudden Infant and adult deaths occur more frequently and influenza outbreaks, which have wiped out many thousands of people, are well documented. Aching arthritic joints, bronchitis, pleurisy, pneumonia, seasonal affective disorder, to mention a few, add more problems to our already over-stretched National health services. Yet we do at least live in relatively comfortable homes when compared to the pig, sheep or cow! Every time there is a serious flood in the developing world, where people have less adequate accommodation, cholera outbreaks become a real problem! Rotting bodies and the carcasses of animals poison the water.
However there are a number of more unfortunate people who live on the streets all over the world, including Britain. It is within this underclass of the world’s poor people that serious illnesses abound, like tuberculosis. Surely this must cement in place the fact that we, like the farm animals, can’t survive the harsh elements that the weather places upon us unless we find a clean, warm and dry shelter!
In the late Tudor Period, British history tells the story of the Sweating Sickness, which killed off many tens of thousands of people. Reference was made and documented as to the unusually high humidity affecting Britain and Europe alike. Eventually, A tempest (storm) swept away the illness and with it went the humidity. Fortunately, living conditions for most have improved since the Tudor period.
The weather in the UK in the years 2000-2001 has been the wettest on record, many homes have been flooded time and time again. Yet little if any time has been devoted to connecting the foot and mouth outbreak this year to the environmental factors even though there is documented evidence which supports the fact that humidity prolongs the life of pathogenic infectious agents. (Page7: How is the virus destroyed?)
Sudden Infant Deaths
Leslie Monroe conducted a statistical analysis of incidence of sudden infant deaths (SIDS) His work now forms part of the statistics collection shown on Open University Programmes. Leslie J. A. Monro (Swindon) showed beyond any shadow of a doubt, that living in low lying river valley areas, which suffered Winter Waterlogged soils had a much greater incidence of SIDS, up to 46% above the National average. I have spoken with Mr Monro on several occasions and challenge anyone to find fault with his findings. Universities have--and failed to find anything to the contrary! I conducted my own comparisons based on monthly rainfall plotted in a graph against monthly occurrences of SIDS from 1985 to 1992. The graph shows a double mirror image. Not only do the peaks and troughs match convincingly, but also the general downward drift of rainfall from 1985 to 1992, leading to a drought in the winter of 1992 was followed by an almost identical decline in SIDS. Could it be the humidity/damp in these areas that increases the incidence of SIDS?
Yet in 1997 in the months before and during the last outbreak of foot and mouth disease, the rainfall in Britain was again excessively wet and prolonged. Veterinary surgeon Hugh Peplow of Munnings Mitchell & Peplow remembers the appalling weather conditions of 1967.
Notable Features of the Weather (Monthly weather report . MET Office) volume: 84 No: 13 Date 21st August 1973. Summary for the year 1967
1967 was a rather wet year. May was an exceptionally wet month. Rainfall being over three times the national average over large areas of Northern England. Over the country as a whole it was the wettest May since 1773. The 14th & 15th were the wettest days and noteworthy falls in many parts of the country included one of 22mm in 15 minutes at Wollerton Park, Norfolk on the 14th. Heavy storms led to widespread flooding in Lancashire between the 8th and 10th of August; at Hornby 75 mm of rain was recorded in 15 minutes
July: The first 10 days were cool with weather mainly dry in the south-east, but with occasional rain in the north and west. The 13th marked the beginning of 10 days of thundery weather, thunderstorms were widespread on the 14th &15th
From the 24th a number of rain-belts spread south-eastwards over the country. The 27th & 29th were wet in all districts.
August: Cool and unsettled weather during first week. south-east mainly dry. Thundery outbreaks from the 8th until the 11th ended violently and with wide spread flooding, especially in Lancashire, where 75 mm of rain fell in 3 hours. North-westerly winds brought cooler weather to most districts on the 12th, but from the 14th to the 18th there was a good deal of rain. The 19th to 28th was a generally warm dry period, although in some places remained cool because overnight fog was slow to clear. The last three days were unsettled although south-east was mainly dry.
September
The first 5 days were generally unsettled, with frequent often severe gales. Prolonged rain, heavy at times, was broken by showery weather during the afternoon of the 2nd and during the 4th Tiree recorded 75mm of rain during this period. 10th & 11th were generally dull and wet days, other days being fine. 15th & 16th dull but mainly dry. 17th an area of rain moved across most districts and another during the night of 18th/19th , scattered thunderstorms on the 20th and heavy showers on the 21st were followed by a week of warmer weather and southerly winds, however rain was widespread on the 24th, 25th and 29th. 30th sunny with scattered showers.
October (Time of the 1967 outbreak of FMD) (Source of local information for Oct: Vol 84 same report)
First 3 days were cool and stormy with widespread rain and gales, 4th bright and showery, but further rain reached south-west England from the Atlantic on the 5th. Mild south-westerly winds occurred on the 6th spreading throughout the country.
A wet period followed, heavy rain on the 8th 9th & 10th led to widespread floods in the Lake District, south-west Scotland and north Wales. North Wales suffered considerable flood damage on the 10th. Great Langdale (Westmoorland) recorded 146mm in 24 hours. 11th Cooler westerly winds brought further rain and temperatures fell too near normal. 12th & 13th were sunny and dry for most of the country. A wet day on the 14th and Northerly winds brought a sharp drop in temperatures on the 15th. The 16th was the stormiest day of the month and heavy rains led to renewed widespread flooding in Wales and the Midlands. The days rainfall exceeded 50 mm in many parts of the Midlands, 85mm fell at Lwynon (Brecknock). The second half of the month was changeable and rather wet. Gales were severe in places and continued on the 17th from a north-westerly direction behind the depression. Thundery showers spread to all districts in this cold north-westerly air-stream and snow was reported as far south as Ringway (Manchester). Prolonged sunny periods on the 18th & 22nd Temperatures were above average for the week following the 18th but the last five days of the month were rather cool with widespread rain on the 19th 20th 27th and rain reached all districts late in the day on the 30th 31st widespread rain.
November
The unsettled, stormy and cold weather continued for most of the first week. Rain was widespread and heavy locally on most days of this week. Rain reached northern districts on the 24th and spread southwards over the country bringing to an end 11 dry days at many places over Southern England. 27th- unsettled with rain alternating with brighter showery periods.
December
Overnight fog was slow to disperse in the Midlands during the first two days. Rain spread South Eastwards across the country on the night of the 2nd. 3rd mainly fine. North westerly winds reached gale force during the next two days, and rain moving south. Followed by 5 days of cold Northerly winds which brought snow to all districts. Rain continued on the 11th moving to the south-east of England for most of the 12th. Widespread rain on the 15th followed by 4 days of cold weather with snow showers and night frosts. 21st to 27th saw milder wet weather, but the 28th saw cold northerly winds with some snow until the end of the month.
« Last Edit: 28/08/2008 20:40:45 by Andrew K Fletcher »
Science is continually evolving. Nothing is set in stone. Question everything and everyone. Always consider vested interests as a reason for miss-direction. But most of all explore and find answers that you are comfortable with

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Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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ATTEMPTS TO BE HEARD
I have contacted the Ministry Of Agriculture Fisheries and Food (MAFF) and the National Farmers Union (NFU), Institute for Animal Health, Pirbright Laboratory, Woking, Surrey GU24 ONF, U.K. Reply: "not now, this is the wrong time to consider your work in this field, come back when all of this has blown over. However, my wife heard on the TV days after I had spoken to a veterinary surgeon at MAFF that the outbreak of foot and mouth will subside when the weather changes for the better! But what if it changes for the worse? Furthermore, I have sent a copy of this paper to all concerned with foot and mouth disease.
Why the mass slaughter of livestock and disruptions to the farming and tourist industries if the problem will resolve itself when the rain stops? (page7 Persistence of Virus Donaldson 1987).
Indeed why was the vaccine never used? I believe that the vaccine for foot and mouth disease is only partially successful and officials know this, as is the case with any vaccine for influenza in humans, when one bug is defeated another variant will take its place.
http://www.man.ac.uk/Science_Engineering/CHSTM/news/fmd-faq.htm#1967
Materials and comments by Abigail Woods MA MSc VetMB MRCVS
Is slaughter really necessary?
On animal and human health grounds, almost certainly not. 95% of animals will recover within 2 weeks with little or no treatment. There is virtually no risk to human health. Abigail Woods points to the economics of farming and the fact that animal’s once infected fail to thrive and gain weight. Could the adverse environmental conditions be responsible for animals failing to thrive?
PROPOSEL put to MAFF and the NFU
Confine a number of affected animals in a secure, clean containment room with dry bedding food and water and room for exercise, use a dehumidifier to remove the moisture from the air to create a warm dry environment. Study the effects of the improved environmental conditions on the affected animals for five weeks and see if they recover!
Having put my proposal to MAFF, which in my opinion would be simple and cost effective to conduct. No further action looks imminent, instead the mass slaughter continues, as if there is some other hidden agenda behind it, perhaps to make sure that the future stocks on our farms are free from BSE? Or simply to make use of the surplus meat and dairy produce, which was given away to people in Britain a few years ago? (EEC. meat and butter mountains) caused by intensive farming and the resulting overproduction!
This model (mentioned above) has already been proven, albeit unwittingly by scientists who tried to reproduce the same prolific viral traits as observed in farming conditions and failed because they had a clean dry environment under laboratory conditions, which is exactly what I am saying. Remove the environmental conditions faced by these animals and they will become healthy animals; furthermore, the spread from one animal to another in the contained dry experimental environment will decrease and stability will be observed! Pages 10&11 Report of the Inquiry on Foot-and-Mouth Disease 1968 Paragraphs 223,224,225
One official at least said that he thought my arguments had some validity, fitting with many of the known parameters in foot and mouth disease. He said that it is thought that the summer months will eliminate the disease and this is thought to be because of the rays from the sun and that it should be investigated further. I pointed out that my proposal did not involve the sun and that if successful would prove this point.
Conclusion
Foot and Mouth Disease is here to stay as are many illnesses affecting humans and animals alike. It is only the changes in environmental conditions, which reduce resistance’s to infectious agents that mislead scientists into believing that someone must have introduced the disease from some far off place. It is easier to pass the book and look for a safe scapegoat, rather than admit that today’s knowledge about the circulation of fluids within the body of humans and animals is incorrect! After all, if the disease originated in some far-flung place, something must have triggered it in the first place! The recent floods in Africa for example?
Two suicides already reported in the farming community on Sky TV News today 04 April 2001, how many more lives and livelihoods will be trashed before this ridiculous farce ends?
Foot and mouth should be seen as a warning of pending danger.
Foot and mouth should be seen as a warning of pending danger from infectious diseases which can spread to humans from animals. One consideration should be the outbreak of Nipha Disease in Malaysia.
'Emergency report' by the Director General of the Malaysian Veterinary Services, Dr Mohd Nordin Mohd Nor, to the OIE, (published in their weekly DISEASE INFORMATION of 28 May 1999, Vol. 12 - No. 20.)
By mid-December 1998, the disease had spread to Sikamat, about 60 km south of Kuala Lumpur, through movement of infected pigs. Seven of the 20 workers developed the disease and five died in January 1999.
By March 1999 the disease had spread to the major pig producing area of Bukit Pelandok in the State of Negeri Sembilan
The disease spread to more farms and, from 1 March to 10 May 1999, a total of 224 suspected cases of viral encephalitis occurred in Negeri Sembilan with 80 fatalities. Out of a total of 258 persons suspected of being infected with the Nipah virus, 100 have died.
In a previously infected farm, more than 95% of sows had Nipah virus antibodies. More than 90% of the piglets had antibodies assumed to be maternal antibodies. Antibody prevalence across all ages is currently being
studied in an infected farm. END OF COPIED REPORT
This is the first comprehensive report we have seen and may be the first comprehensive report. Japanese encephalitis is no longer being reported as the etiologic agent of Nipah disease and other steps forward obviously have
been taken. The overall mortality rate in humans is 38.8%. Many questions remain---
Source: ProMED-mail Michele Gale-Sinex. Communications manager
Center for Integrated Ag Systems, UW-Madison http://www.wisc.edu/

Health news
Foot-and-mouth disease http://www.bupa.co.uk/health_news/270201foot.html
Written by BUPA's medical team - 27 February 2001
The outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in pigs and cows has raised the question of whether the disease can be transmitted to humans. The Public Health Laboratory Service (PHLS) is the national authority responsible for detecting, diagnosing, and monitoring infectious diseases in humans. Here we summarise its advice on foot-and-mouth disease. For further details, visit the PHLS home page, and go to 'news and events'.
·   Documented cases of human infection with the disease are very rare. This is despite farmers having very regular contact with animals, and regular foot-and-mouth epidemics in other parts of the world. The last reported human case in the UK was 1967.
·   This means that the risk of human infection is very small. And when infection has occurred, the symptoms are mild and clear up without the need for special treatment. There has been no recorded case of human-to-human transmission.
·   The current priority is to prevent more animals from becoming infected. Animals are being destroyed to contain the spread of the disease. More information on the outbreak and foot and mouth disease in animals can be obtained on the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food (MAFF) web-site.
·   Don't confuse foot-and-mouth disease with the human disease called "hand, foot-and-mouth" disease. This is a completely different, and usually mild, viral infection that mostly affects children. The virus responsible is an enterovirus called coxsackie A virus.
Alternative names: Coxsackievirus infection Symptoms: fever, sore throat, blisters or ulcers in the throat and mouth headache a rash with blisters on hands, feet and diaper area and appetite loss. (picture)- http://tray.dermatology.uiowa.edu/Coxsack01.htm

 
http://www.maff.gov.uk/inf/newsrel/2001/010323a.htm
FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE 2001 - EPIDEMIOLOGICAL FORECASTS
NOTE FOR TECHNICAL BRIEFING, 23 March 2001
The outlook for FMD in Great Britain 2001 is for a very large epidemic. It will grow fast in the next few weeks and continue for many months. The number of cases will rise steeply with rapid expansion in the existing areas in spite of current controls. Estimates vary from 70 cases a day over the next two weeks to over 4000 cases by June 2001.
The Ministry of Agriculture and the Food Standards Agency held a joint meeting on 21 March to receive urgent advice from independent expert epidemiologists. Jim Scudamore (Chief Veterinary Officer), Sir John Krebs (Chairman FSA) and Professor David King (Chief Scientific Adviser) heard reports from Neil Ferguson and colleagues (Imperial College) Mark Woolhouse (University of Edinburgh) and opinions from experts at the Institute of Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency. The models and analysis use data recorded by MAFF up to 19 March 2001. A brief summary of the available findings is attached; Imperial plan to publish shortly.
The effect of controls on animal movement from 23 February was noted, but all the experts advised the need for further drastic action to bring disease under control. Otherwise FMD will become established in Britain.
Speedier slaughter of infected animals will help to reduce transmission. But this needs to be accompanied by immediate slaughter of all susceptible species around infected farms otherwise the final number of cases will be very high. Depending on the extent of these interventions, the combined strategy could reduce the epidemic substantially.
The experts said the last major epidemic in UK 1967/8 was quite different. In 2001 more of the country is affected, sheep are an important reservoir of infection, the scale of dissemination by animal movement was enormous early on. In addition the size of flocks and herds means the scale of operations is very big.
t is stressed that these are preliminary results, which do not represent a final view from the modelling teams, or from the Government.
The external teams have not yet had the opportunity to model the impact of FMD's geographic distribution, or of the characteristics of different species.
Science is continually evolving. Nothing is set in stone. Question everything and everyone. Always consider vested interests as a reason for miss-direction. But most of all explore and find answers that you are comfortable with

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ITN News:
Foot-and mouth is a devastating disease - but what do we know about its effects and how it spreads?
Source: http://cbc.ca/news/indepth/background/footandmouth.html
ITN's Nicholas Owen has been looking at a previous outbreak in 1967 and the issues involved:
Almost half a million animals were slaughtered as Britain struggled to contain its worst outbreak of foot- and-mouth.
It was a farming catastrophe. The total bill then was £150 million in slaughter costs and lost sales, plus £27 million paid in compensation to farmers.
From a single case in Shropshire, large areas of the country were eventually affected.
Foot and mouth is a disease that can affect all cloven hoof animals, like pigs, sheep, cattle, goats and deer.
Source: http://www3.itn.co.uk/news/20010221/britain/12footbcgrnd.shtm
Symptoms vary between species:
Cattle – Fever, dullness, off feed, shivering, reduced milk yield and sore teats in milking stock, tenderness of feet or lameness.
Sheep and goats – Fever, lameness, stiff legged walk, off colour, tendency to lie down.
Pigs – Fever, lameness, dullness, off feed.
(Comment When animals lay down, circulation is compromised further. A.K.F.)
A vaccine is available, but it is expensive, boosters are needed within a year and vaccinated animals endanger a country's disease-free status, which can take years to recover. Laboratory tests cannot distinguish between vaccinated animals and infected ones. There is no cure. It usually runs its course in two or three weeks, after which the great majority of animals recover naturally.
http://www2.warwickshire.gov.uk/Web/corporate/pages.nsf/Links/E708A22F2BC32BD480256A01004BE3E3
Warwickshire Web . Warwickshire County Council, Shire Hall, Warwick, CV34 4RA,
Q: Which animals are susceptible? Cattle, sheep, pigs and goats are susceptible and some wild animal such as hedgehogs, coypu, rats, deer and zoo animals including elephants.
Q: What are the symptoms? Vesicles (blisters) in the mouth or on the feet and other symptoms which vary somewhat but may be:
CATTLE - Fever, dullness, off feed, shivering, reduced milk yield and sore teats in milking stock, slavering, tenderness of feet or lameness.
SHEEP AND GOATS - Fever, lameness, stiff legged walk, off colour, tendency to lie down.
PIGS - Fever, lameness, dullness, off feed.
Q:What kinds of virus are there?
There are 7 main types: O, A, C, SAT.1, SAT.2, SAT.3, and Asia 1. Within each type there are many sub-types, e.g. O1 and A22. The average incubation period is 3-8 days but it can be shorter or may extend to 14 days or longer. It has been confirmed that the virus responsible for the present outbreak is the highly virulent pan-Asiatic O type. When animals recover from infection by one type of virus they have little or no protection against attacks by any one of the others.
Q: How is the virus destroyed?
It can be destroyed by heat, low humidity, or certain disinfectants, but it may remain active for a varying time in a suitable medium such as the frozen or chilled carcass of an infected animal and on contaminated objects.
SOURCE: http://www2.warwickshire.gov.uk/Web/corporate/pages.nsf/Links/E708A22F2BC32BD480256A01004BE3E3
Persistence of virus environment
AUSVETPLAN Foot-and-mouth disease
FMD virus may remain infective in the environment for several weeks and possibly longer in the presence of organic matter such as soil, manure, and dried animal secretions, or on chemically inert materials such as straw, hair and leather.
The virus has the following general properties (Donaldson 1987).
1 ) The virus is most stable at pH 7.4–7.6 but will survive at pH 6.7–9.5 if °C or lower. Below pH 5.0 or above pH 11.0the temperature is reduced to  inactivation is very rapid.
2) Raising the temperature reduces the survival time. At temperatures below °C for 30freezing point the virus is stable almost indefinitely. Exposure to 5 minutes is sufficient to destroy most strains although there is some variation between strains in resistance to temperature and/or pH stress.
3) Sunlight has little or no direct effect on infectivity; any loss is due to secondary drying
and temperature.
4) The survival of airborne virus is mainly influenced by relative humidity (RH) with good
survival above 60% RH and rapid inactivation below 60% RH (Donaldson 1972).
Source: http://www.aahc.com.au/ausvetplan/fmdfinal.pdf
OFFICE INTERNATIONAL DES EPIZOOTIES
Organisation mondiale de la santé animale World organisation for animal health Organización mundial de sanidad animal
Q: Which other countries have recently had FMD? (Foot and mouth disease)
Argentina : 6 April 2001 Bhutan : 10 November 2000 Brazil : 19 January 2001 Colombia : 29 December 2000 Egypt : 15 September 2000 France : 6 April 2001 Georgia : 23 June 2000 Greece : 2 February 2001 Iran : 15 October 1999 Ireland : 6 April 2001 Israel : 9 February 2001 Japan : 29 September 2000 Kazakhstan : 28 July 2000 Korea : 18 August 2000 Kuwait : 1 September 2000 Malawi : 23 March 2001 Malaysia : 11 February 2000 Mauritania : 8 December 2000 Mongolia : 23 March 2001 Namibia : 27 October 2000 Netherlands : 6 April 2001 Peru : 14 January 2000 Russia : 28 April 2000 Saudi Arabia : 14 April 2000 South Africa : 9 March 2001 Swaziland : 9 March 2001 Taipei China : 9 March 2001 Tajikistan : 25 August 2000 Turkey : 24 December 1999 United Kingdom / Great Britain : 6 April 2001 United Kingdom / Northern Ireland : 9 March 2001 Uruguay : 26 January 2001 Zambia : 1 September 2000 Zimbabwe : 4 February 2000 Source: http://www.oie.int/eng/info/hebdo/a_dsum.htm
COMMENT: How can we ever expect to contain foot and mouth when it is already established throughout the world? A.K.F.
Management control and prevention SOURCE: http://WWW.ThePigSite.Com
Vaccination (where applicable)
·   In endemic and high risk areas routine vaccination may be practised mainly to protect the breeding stock.
·   Most FMD vaccines are produced in cell suspension cultures and inactivated by ethylenamine derivatives. An adjuvant is added to make them more potent. Oily adjuvants are used in swine.
·   Vaccination in pigs is problematical. This is because protection is short-lived lasting only about six months. It is also partly because there are seven serotypes of FMD and protection against one leaves animals susceptible to the others. Vaccines must be multivalent (several serotypes) in most endemic regions. Since FMD is largely a winter disease, vaccination should be carried out in the autumn.
·   Serotypes - There are 7 main serotypes: A, O, C, SAT 1, SAT 2, SAT 3 and Asia 1. There are also many strains within serotypes. Careful selection of the strains for incorporation in vaccines is essential to ensure they are effective.
From: Martin Rowley(martinr@booty.demon.co.uk) Subject: Foot and Mouth Disease ... and the weather
Newsgroups: uk.sci.weather Date: 2001-02-24 09:50:28 PST

I note that there has not been one post yet in this newsgroup regarding what may turn out to be a major disaster for the farming community in the UK (and a major drain on the Exchequer) .. the current outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease. (FMD). For those too young to remember, FMD has integral links with synoptic meteorology. For those who have them available, I recommend the edition of 'Weather' noted below. From that I quote the following:-

" The recent epidemic, in which over 2300 farms were infected between October 1967 and June 1968, was the most serious ever experienced in Britain. The Meteorological Office, in close collaboration with the Central Veterinary Laboratory, Weybridge, has investigated the possibility that meteorological factors were responsible for some of the spread. The results of this analysis suggest that most of the spread was due to the wind, and hence stricter controls on movement would have had little effect. Moreover, it appears likely that precipitation played an important part in spread over distances greater than a few kilometres .... " (my note: note the phrase ... 'most of the spread' etc.)

"Conclusions:
1. A large proportion of the spread during the 1967-8 epidemic was due to the wind.
2. On at least one occasion, the virus was carried over 100km by the wind.
3. During anticyclonic weather with calm or light winds, airborne spread it largely confined to a distance of about 4 km from a source.
4. Precipitation plays some part in increasing the amount of deposition.
5. It is possible that precipitation is essential for the occurrence of appreciable deposition beyond about 10 km."

If the origin of the *current* outbreak (as noted in today's news) is in fact at the farm in Northumberland, and that conditions were conducive to FMD viral generation at least a month ago, then the present stringent movement controls (although essential), may prove to give a false sense of security ... the viral agents may have long been dispersed by both dry and wet deposition over large areas of the country. Wet deposition being much more effective and the primary vector for infection in the 10's of km downwind range. Over the past couple of weeks, the wind over NE England has 'boxed the compass', albeit with a bias to drift towards the east or north-east (over the North Sea).
However, for a few days around the 8th/9th and again on the 18th/19th, winds had a high northerly component. We have also had south-ward moving frontal bands which could be agents to 'sweep up' the viral agents (minute droplets containing the disease), depositing them further south in precipitation. Also note that the otherwise prevailing west or SW winds would aid vectoring of the disease from, for example, the Isle of Wight farm.

There are some similarities with the present day meteorological situation. The outbreak in the late 60's came in the third year of a run of three 'wet' years (we have just had 3 wet years..  notably so in the case of 2000), and the September & October of 1967 had above average rainfall (using the EWP series), with October approaching twice-average rainfall. (Also, as an aside, the late 60's outbreak also started in pigs before crossing to other species).

The news media aren't making much of this aspect at the moment (just mentioning the wind as an aside), but I fancy that we may have a major problem here as the source was not identified soon enough, allowing what I believe to be acknowledged to be the major vector agents (wind & precipitation), to have full effect for over a month.
Reference:
'Weather', June, 1969 "Effects of wind and precipitation on the spread of Foot-and-mouth disease.
PB Wright, Meteorological Office, Bracknell. pp204-213 Martin Rowley  http://www.booty.demon.co.uk/metindex.htm

Received from HM Stationary Office on the 24th April 2001
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Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Relevant extracts from:
REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE OF INQUIRY ON
Foot-and-Mouth Disease
1968
By command of Her Majesty April 1969
PART 1: Command. 3999 SBN 10 139990 1 HM stationary Office
 
Factors involved in the introduction and spread of disease
Page15:
27. Since 1954 there has been further evidence in support of the theory that foot-and-mouth disease, (FMD), virus is transmitted in air currents. Recent evidence from Denmark suggests that the virus can be windborne for up to eighteen miles over sea and in exceptional circumstances, over twice that distance.
Danish veterinary officials thought that windborne infection, associated with darkness and damp weather, was the most frequent cause of primary outbreaks in Denmark.
28. In Great Britain much work has been done by the Meteorological Office, (MET Office), and the Ministry Of Agriculture to examine the general hypothesis that meteorological conditions could have favoured the spread of the virus from Continental sources on the occasions of past outbreaks of the disease in Great Britain- and to assess the effects of meteorological conditions on secondary spread in this country. An examination by MET, of all primary outbreaks since 1937, except minor ones, has shown that in every case of multiple and simultaneous outbreaks on the south and east coasts, suitable wind tracts could be found leading back to known infected areas in Europe. It was noted that in the area of the outbreaks, rain, which could have precipitated the virus, occurred at the relevant time.
An alternative interpretation by the Microbiological Research Establishment was that the outbreaks could be better accounted for by the favourable effects on the viability of the virus in the high humidity prevailing at the time.
29. The MET Office also examined the effect of meteorological conditions on secondary outbreaks of the disease. This was done in five areas: Cheshire (1952); Shropshire (1961); Northumberland (1966); Hampshire (1967), and Cheshire (1967). (The last of these studies had advanced to the point of examining those outbreaks during the initial stages of the epidemic for which there were very few possible authenticated sources; further work is in progress.)
The results of the examination suggested that wind and rain might have played a part in the spread of the disease.
In general the examination showed that-
i.   few outbreaks occurred upwind of any known source:
ii.   outbreaks were limited to about 2 ½ miles downward in dry weather;
iii.   Outbreaks extended further downwind in wet weather and even further in periods of light rain;
iv.   Most outbreaks were downwind of more than one possible source of infection on several occasions during rainy periods;
v.   Selecting the most likely sources of infection, the percentages of total outbreaks downwind, in relation to distance, were as follows- 33% within 1 ¼ miles; 60% within 3 miles 75% within 6miles; 85% within 12 ½ miles; 90% within 18 ½ miles 95% within 31 miles. (these percentages did not include the Cheshire 1967 epidemic);
One case might have been associated with airborne spread of the virus at a distance of fifty miles;
vi.   in all five areas there were a number of secondary outbreaks during the second week following primary infection; after dry weather the number was low and after wet weather it was high;
vii.   in all five areas there was a decline in the number of new outbreaks during a period of dry weather.
The MET Office concludes that the amount of spread due to meteorological causes could be as high as 95% and was unlikely to be less than 80%. They also concluded that spread did not occur unless favourable wind and rain conditions prevailed.
30. The evidence suggests that viruses contained in airborne particles will travel in a viable form in the air for distances of up to thirty miles or more depending upon their particle size, the strength of the wind and other factors.
Transmission of airborne virus by night appears to be a greater threat than by day because of the absence of ultraviolet light. The Microbiological Research Establishment suggested that there might be other influences at work in the survival of foot-and-mouth disease virus about which conclusive answers are not at present available. For example, some viruses are known to survive better in association with large particles rather than small ones. Atmospheric relative humidity is a very important factor; high relative humidity appears to prolong the survival of viruses in aerosols.
The salt and protein content of the material in which the viruses are conveyed and the extent of atmospheric pollution might exert an influence on survival. Although heavy rain may aid deposition of the viruses, experiments suggest that it may clear the atmosphere of noxious substances deleterious to the viruses and so prolong their survival.
31. The releases of foot-and-mouth-disease virus into the air may be brought about in many ways. Present work at the Animal Virus Research Institute on the presence of virus in the air of animal houses containing infected animals shows that the amount of excreted virus is fairly uniform, starting before the vesicles appear and continuing thereafter. Movement of infected animals or the disturbance of infected materials could create an aerosol containing the virus. Animals either housed or at pasture can be infected by inhalation of airborne virus. It has been suggested that the virus might be drawn up into the air and carried to other sites in thermal air currents generated when infected carcasses are burned. In this case the virus source might not be confined to the carcasses; contaminated dust particles from the ground surrounding the pyre might also be drawn up into the air and carried away by the wind.
During the 1967 /1968 epidemic in the West Midlands large volumes of air were sampled at points 100 and 300 yards down from fires used to destroy-(Page 25 same document)- carcasses on two farms. No virus was isolated from the samples but it was thought that the efficiency of the technique employed might not have been high enough to give significant results.
32. Airborne particles can be deposited by gravity, by downward diffusion of air, by impaction on a solid object or in falling raindrop. Large particles (greater than 10 microns) will be deposited close to the source of infection. Virus deposited on pasture or fodder can cause infection when ingested. Smaller particles, on the other hand, will travel in an aerosol and be little effected by gravity or rainfall (other than very heavy rainfall), The probability of infection by inhalation will depend on the concentration of virus-containing particles in the air. It will also depend on the viability of the virus which will be influenced by a number of factors, the most important probably being relative humidity.
43. It is possible that birds are responsible for the introduction of foot-and-mouth disease into countries and for its subsequent spread. It is known that foot-and-mouth disease virus can be conveyed on the feet or feathers of birds and can be excreted by them after ingestion of material contaminated with the virus, but there is no evidence that birds can become infected with the virus.
The Gowers Committee pointed out that the virus had been recovered from the feet and feathers of a bird contaminated experimentally as long as 91 hours after contamination. Also it was reported that starlings given the virus by mouth had excreted it in their faeces for a period of 10-26 hours. It is thus probable that birds may spread the virus and so cause secondary outbreaks.
They are likely to constitute a greater risk if they are carrion eaters such as crows and seagulls. In the recent past there has been considerable misgiving about attributing primary outbreaks with bird migration and it has been suggested that many of the outbreaks so attributed may have been due to windborne virus. Recent Danish research evidence suggests that some of the outbreaks previously presumed to have been associated with bird migration to that country cannot be related to migration patterns.




REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE OF INQUIRY ON
Foot-and-Mouth Disease
1968
By command of Her Majesty December 1969
PART 2: Command. 4225 SBN 10 142250 4 HM stationary Office
Chapter V1: Postscript to part 1 of the Committee’s Report
Page 93: (a) General
223. Since the submission of Part1 of our report on 7th March, 1969 considerable advances have been made in research on foot-and-mouth disease. Many of which have followed the opportunity given to the staff of the Animal Virus Research Institute at Pirbright, Surrey in the 1967/1968 epidemic to go into the field for the first time. The Institute already had considerable epidemiological experience in countries overseas where the disease is both endemic and epidemic. However, the study of the disease in Great Britain, with its completely susceptible livestock population, presented entirely different problems which in the event were not solved by field investigations.
Nevertheless, the opportunities for study of the epidemiological problems presented by the epidemic made it possible to define a number of problems more clearly. They have since been studied intensively by the staff of the Institute in collaboration with veterinary staff of the Ministry of Agriculture, the Microbiological Research Establishment, the Meteorological Office, and the Atomic Energy Research Establishment. Some of the not inconsiderable results obtained so far are given in the following paragraphs. In general they reinforce the conclusions drawn in Part1 of our Report. It should be emphasised that the work provided information on how individual and small groups of animals behave under experimental conditions but could not show precisely how animals would react to the disease under normal farming conditions.
(b) Characteristics of Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus
224. Strains of foot-and-mouth disease virus from the 1967/1968 epidemic were studied in susceptible animals under experimental conditions. In brief, the experiments indicated that:
(c) the strain of the virus isolated during the 1967/1968 epidemic was particularly stable under certain laboratory conditions.
225. Speculation arose as to whether these characteristics contributed to the serious nature of the 1967/1968 epidemic. Since then, however, other strains of foot-and-mouth disease virus have been similarly examined and it is clear that the early excretion shown by the 1967/1968 strain is common to a number of strains isolated both in the country and abroad. It was found that strains can nevertheless show considerable variation in such properties as stability under laboratory conditions and it may be that such characteristics will provide useful markers in future in identifying the origin of strains responsible for outbreaks.
Page 94: (c) Windborne Transmission of Foot-and-Mouth Disease virus
228. Naturally it has not been possible to carry out experiments in the field to investigate the transmission of foot-and-mouth disease virus by wind because of the obvious risks involved. However, experiments in the laboratory have shown that the virus in the aerosol form is very fragile when humidity is low and persists for long periods when the humidity is high.
There was evidence from the 1967/1968 epidemic to indicate that rain-bearing winds played an important part in spreading the disease. Furthermore retrospective studies have been made of previous outbreaks of the disease in relation to the meteorological conditions existing at the time and these support the important part played by wind and humidity in the spread of infection.
For example, in one of the studies made, of an outbreak, which occurred in East Keswick (between Wetherby and Leeds) in October 1960. Meteorological experts, without any knowledge of the pattern of the spread, on the basis of the wind tracts and humidity as well as other weather conditions prevailing at the time, indicated where the outbreaks should have occurred. Their indications were correct but of equal importance, they were also able to indicate correctly those areas, which remained free of disease. It is considered that the virus can be carried by wind, if the conditions are ideal, over distances of more than sixty miles. This approach will be valuable in dealing with future outbreaks particularly in indicating where to look for secondary outbreaks associated with wind spread once a primary outbreak is reported.
Signed: Northumberland (Chairman) Anthony Cripps; David G. Evans; Henry Plumb; Eric L. Thomas; David Walker; William L. Weipers; John N Jotcham (Secretary); Melba D. White (Assistant secretary) 3rd November, 1969
Foot & Mouth linked by weather patterns in 1967, 68 and this epidemic! (Does the evidence outweigh coincidence?)
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Offline Bored chemist

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The word endemic also implies that the virus is maintained in the wild population of animals. Sorry if this was taken out of context.

However calling me a liar over something as minor as a misunderstanding tells people a lot more about you BC than it does about me.

I Bet you wouldnt say this to my face!
Smallpox essentially only had one host- humans.
It was still described as endemic in some areas before it was wiped out. Your deffinition of endemic isn't the usual one. It's essentially the opposite of the one given here.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endemic_(epidemiology)
 Measles and chickenpox (ironicly, given the name) are only commonly found in humans. These diseases too are endemic in our population.

Even the common cold is an example that shows that you are simply wrong.

Foot and Mouth Disease is endemic in some places, not because there are wild hosts for it, but because it's endemic in the cattle heards. The virus is bad for animals but not usually fatal.

I called you a liar because you said something that wasn't true. What it says about me is that I don't accept people putting words in my mouth. I never said anything about wild animals. Your point was a total strawman. You ought to know better.
A preference for truth over falsehood is fairly common among people, particularly scientists.
I'd be less likely to say it to your face, but only because I doubt you would have made the claim you did if we were face to face.

Incidentally, this " FOOT & MOUTH IS LINKED IRREFUTABLY TO THE WEATHER!"
Is also untrue, because everyone here has seen the refutation.

Anyway, those papers say a lot about the spread of the virus- bad weather has an effect.
They don't say that the disease is caused by bad weather.


The simple fact is that we often have bad Summers, but we seldom have FMD so it's logically impossible for bad Summers to cause FMD.

If we get an outbreak this year it will be due to a breach of quarantine.
« Last Edit: 28/08/2008 19:15:55 by Bored chemist »
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Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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I have never said that the virus is caused by bad weather anywhere. I refrain from calling you a liar. In fact it never entered my head to call you a liar over something so trivial.

The link to the weather is in how the weather lowers the circulation and body temperature making the animals more susceptible to infectious diseases. This explains why the infected animals recovered when they were housed in clean dry laboratory conditions.

The common cold shows exactly how this theory is correct. It is no coincidence that when the weather takes a turn for the worse, the UK population begins to suffer from colds, influenza, coughs, aches and pains with annual predictability.

RE Endemic:

Endemic according to your reference means it belongs there and is also said to be exclusive to the area. In the case of foot and mouth diseases and all virus that have the ability to mutate and be transmitted by air or by birds and wildlife, it can hardly fit in this case.

Endemic therefore as used in reference to a pathogen fits more with my interpretation than it does with the ones on Wiki.
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Offline rosalind dna

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This Bluetongue disease has come over from a "protected" area in
France to the Uk and it can be a fatal disease in sheep also in goats:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7583948.stm

BBC News:
Bluetongue cases discovered 
 
Bluetongue was first reported in the UK in 2007
Two cases of animal disease bluetongue have been detected in imported rams, the Department for Environment,
Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has said.

The rams were imported from the same premises in the bluetongue-restricted zone in France.
The cases were found on premises near Lewes, East Sussex, and Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire.
Defra said there was no evidence the disease was being circulated by midges in the areas where cases were found.

The cases were detected as a result of post-import testing on all animals coming from the Continent which are susceptible to the disease, according to Defra.

Bluetongue, which can be fatal to animals, is transmitted between animals such as cows and sheep by midges.

Farmers throughout the protection zone should vaccinate as soon as vaccine is available to them

Alick Simmons
Deputy chief vet
______________________________________

The first outbreak of the disease in the UK hit the country in summer 2007.
A mass vaccination campaign against the disease began in April.
Some 21.5 million doses of vaccine have been made available to farmers.

Deputy Chief Vet Alick Simmons said the disease "has recently been confirmed as circulating this year in the Netherlands and large areas of France, despite vaccination programmes being undertaken".

"Similar re-emergence of the disease in the UK would also not be unexpected in the coming weeks," he said.

The bluetongue protection zone, which has kept in place to allow for vaccination, covers most of England.
It is legally permissible to import animals from France's protection zone.
Mr Simmons said the latest cases emphasised the need for farmers to be aware of the risks of importing animals from within restricted zones and the importance of vaccination.

"Farmers throughout the protection zone should vaccinate as soon as vaccine is available to them," he said.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/cumbria/7581613.stm

It seems that it's the wet weather that's re-produced this animal disease and not FMD but just as worrying for the
farmers I'd guess.

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Offline Bored chemist

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Wiki's example is
"In epidemiology, an infection is said to be endemic (from Greek en- in or within + demos people) in a population when that infection is maintained in the population without the need for external inputs. For example, chickenpox is endemic (steady state) in the UK,"

Nothing to do with places. FMD is the same in farm herds in some parts of the world. No need for wild animalss to be involved- they might be, but it's not a requirement.

Anyway, we just have to wait. If there's another outbreak without a breach of quarantine then you are right.
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Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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endemic
1. Relating to a disease or pathogen that is found in or confined to a particular location, region, or people. Malaria, for example, is endemic to tropical regions.

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/endemic

 

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Offline Bored chemist

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Take the particularly nasty disease "made-up-itis" as an example.
Wherever you find it, it found in that location or region. It is therfore endemic by the definition above. Interestingly, it remains endemic even if there's only one case ever in the world.
None of this relates to your original point about wild animals because they are not needed as a reservoir of the virus where there are infected farm animals. Where there are no such infected animals (such as in the UK at the moment) there are no outbreaks.

Anyway, we just have to wait. If there's another outbreak without a breach of quarantine then you are right.


Re bluetongue
"It seems that it's the wet weather that's re-produced this animal disease "
No, it seems that importing infected animals from France did that.
"Two cases of animal disease bluetongue have been detected in imported rams"
Of course a disease with a mobile vector  (the midge) could cross the channel anyway if the wind blew strongly). The weather will affect the spread of that disease of course.
« Last Edit: 29/08/2008 18:36:14 by Bored chemist »
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Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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RE Bluetongue: midges live by shallow water and breed prolifically in wet weather where lots of stagnant shallow water benefits the larvae. So in this case the weather can be responsible for providing the stepping stones / puddles for the infected midge to move rapidly over many miles. Therefore the weather. The barrier in this case was the sea and bad policies have enabled the infection to cross the expanse of salty water to our land.

In the F&M outbreaks we see vets, farmers, soldiers, police, politicians, press and the public having to wash their footwear and hose down vehicles from infected areas. This says something about the virus having a mechanism to transfer from one source to infect another without the need for an animal. Why can’t this happen in the wild animal populations and among the bird and insect populations? It can and does, otherwise these disinfection controls would be deemed useless. (They may or may not be useless) But for now lets assume they are useful in containing the virus.

This would then show that the virus can no longer be considered as either indigenous or endemic as carriers, be it footwear or a hoofed or clawed foot the virus finds a way to move around. Why else would we need 2.5 million antiviral injections for bluetongue. Which incidentally it was also predicted in the theory that other more serious virus will show up in the UK sooner rather than later due to the weather patterns. Admittedly the virus has been traced back to a source. But should we experience severe weather this winter the contamination area is likely to expand rapidly.

You say the wild animals are not required. Maybe they are not, but they are among us and we are never more than a few yards from a rodent and rodents like many other creatures carry their own hosts like fleas and ticks.

I suspect that the UK is not as free from infections like foot and mouth disease as politicians would have us believe.

IA few days ago someone informed me of truck loads of carcases being driven along lanes in the farming community dripping fluids along the tarmac that sheep and cattle use to move from field to field. This happened before a major outbreak. It does not take much thought to realise that should these slaughtered animals have been infected prior to the media being informed about a F&M outbreak this careless act probably contributed and compounded the cross contamination. The person that told me this did not mention that these animals came from a farm close by. Which leaves us with some serious questions about what these animals were infected with and why were they being transported through countryside that was as yet unaffected?
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> News
Wales gets go ahead for bluetongue vaccination
29/08/2008 17:23:00
FWi
Welsh farmers have been called on to vaccinate their livestock at the earliest opportunity following conformation that the whole of Wales will be declared a bluetongue protection zone from Monday 1 September.

Farmers' Union of Wales president Gareth Vaughan urged farmers to vaccinate stock after DEFRA announced that eight cases of bluetongue  had been confirmed in imported cattle in Tiverton, Devon.

Mr Vaughan said: "For the first time this year we have seen cases of BTV8 in the UK, with three infected premises confirmed in the past week. The disease is now on our doorstep and from Monday Welsh farmers will be able to take action to minimise the risk to their livestock.

"I therefore urge farmers who have not yet ordered vaccine from their vets to do so immediately. It is expected that vaccine supplies will become available within days, with further batches arriving over the coming weeks."

The announcement coincides with Wales’ busiest time in terms of crucial livestock sales, which are desperately needed after the disruption caused by foot and mouth disease last year.
http://www.fwi.co.uk/Articles/2008/08/29/111891/wales-gets-go-ahead-for-bluetongue-vaccination.html

DELAWARE: Insect-borne virus found in deer
http://www.delmarvanow.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080826/DW01/80826024/-1/DW

« Last Edit: 30/08/2008 08:53:54 by Andrew K Fletcher »
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Oh look! A conspiracy theory.
"I suspect that the UK is not as free from infections like foot and mouth disease as politicians would have us believe."
FMD is a contageous notifiable disease with clearly defined symptoms which are known to all farmers and vets. But Andrew thinks it is kept a secret.
Does anyone agree with him?
Cosmored, perhaps?

While we are at it, this
"In the F&M outbreaks we see vets, farmers, soldiers, police, politicians, press and the public having to wash their footwear and hose down vehicles from infected areas. This says something about the virus having a mechanism to transfer from one source to infect another without the need for an animal. Why can’t this happen in the wild animal populations and among the bird and insect populations? It can and does, otherwise these disinfection controls would be deemed useless. (They may or may not be useless) But for now lets assume they are useful in containing the virus.

This would then show that the virus can no longer be considered as either indigenous or endemic as carriers, be it footwear or a hoofed or clawed foot the virus finds a way to move around. Why else would we need 2.5 million antiviral injections for bluetongue."

is a non sequiteur. It starts off by making observations about FMD, then uses thenm to try to prove something about bluetongue.
FMD is a virus, it's small and so it can be accidentally carried about by birds other aniimals and people.  Of these peiople are by far the most mobile (people often travel hundreds of miles in a day- animals generally don't).
That makes cleaning boots and such a good idea. We can't do a lot about the birds but we can reduce the likelihood of infection buy restricting the movement of cattle. We can also make sure that farms near the infected animals are kept under close observation. If there's any infection there the cattle are destroyed.

What Andrew seems not to understand is that there is a difference between a host and a vector.
Birds can transmit the virus, carried on their feet. However if the virus isn't taken to another cow it dies out. Imagine that we had wild cows - these too could get the virus and it would circulate among them in much the same way as measles does in people. Contact between these animals and farmed cows would mean that the farm animals would keep getting infected.
The wild cows would act as a reservoir for the disease because it infects them. It doesn't infect birds so there's no reservoir of infection.
That's why the disease is not endemic in the UK.

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Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Don't be silly BC. Conspiracy theory? I am stating that the virus probably has other hosts that maintain it until the climate takes a turn for the worse. If this were not the case, then Foot and mouth would have become extinct a long long time ago. The view that politicians probably kept the lid on the previous outbreaks until the evidence overwhelmed them is not a conspiracy theory but a probability.

The Blue tongue outbreak was used to show how weather affects animals and animal health and how it can affect a known or unknown disease / pathogen / parasite.

This is about how the body behaves under the stress of high humidity and how it prevents us from fighting infections, but more to the point how it prevents cattle, pigs and sheep from remaining healthy.

There was a chemist on the F&M team that screwed up big style. So climb down off your degree for a while and read the text with an open mind.



Oh look! A conspiracy theory.
"I suspect that the UK is not as free from infections like foot and mouth disease as politicians would have us believe."
FMD is a contageous notifiable disease with clearly defined symptoms which are known to all farmers and vets. But Andrew thinks it is kept a secret.
Does anyone agree with him?
Cosmored, perhaps?

While we are at it, this
"In the F&M outbreaks we see vets, farmers, soldiers, police, politicians, press and the public having to wash their footwear and hose down vehicles from infected areas. This says something about the virus having a mechanism to transfer from one source to infect another without the need for an animal. Why can’t this happen in the wild animal populations and among the bird and insect populations? It can and does, otherwise these disinfection controls would be deemed useless. (They may or may not be useless) But for now lets assume they are useful in containing the virus.

This would then show that the virus can no longer be considered as either indigenous or endemic as carriers, be it footwear or a hoofed or clawed foot the virus finds a way to move around. Why else would we need 2.5 million antiviral injections for bluetongue."

is a non sequiteur. It starts off by making observations about FMD, then uses thenm to try to prove something about bluetongue.
FMD is a virus, it's small and so it can be accidentally carried about by birds other aniimals and people.  Of these peiople are by far the most mobile (people often travel hundreds of miles in a day- animals generally don't).
That makes cleaning boots and such a good idea. We can't do a lot about the birds but we can reduce the likelihood of infection buy restricting the movement of cattle. We can also make sure that farms near the infected animals are kept under close observation. If there's any infection there the cattle are destroyed.

What Andrew seems not to understand is that there is a difference between a host and a vector.
Birds can transmit the virus, carried on their feet. However if the virus isn't taken to another cow it dies out. Imagine that we had wild cows - these too could get the virus and it would circulate among them in much the same way as measles does in people. Contact between these animals and farmed cows would mean that the farm animals would keep getting infected.
The wild cows would act as a reservoir for the disease because it infects them. It doesn't infect birds so there's no reservoir of infection.
That's why the disease is not endemic in the UK.


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In order for there to be a background level of FMD in this country the politicians, the farmers and the vets would all have to agree to keep it a secret. That's a conspiracy.

"I am stating that the virus probably has other hosts that maintain it until the climate takes a turn for the worse. If this were not the case, then Foot and mouth would have become extinct a long long time ago. "

This is England- our climate always takes a turn for the worse. As I write this the papers are discussing whether or not this is the wettest August on record- but there is no outbreak.

If there were any wild host for the disease we would have an outbreak of FMD now and there isn't one.
As you steadfastly reuse to believe (in spite of the evidence) in this country FMD is extinct so your own reasoning shows that your hypothesis is false.

Incidentally, since I don't have a degree it's a rather pointless ad hom attack to say that I should climb down off it.
Even if I had one, this sentence "There was a chemist on the F&M team that screwed up big style. So climb down off your degree for a while and read the text with an open mind." makes no sense- just because one chemist screwed up doesn't mean anything about the performance of other chemists.
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Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Please explain how the deer managed to avoid the virus? Did they slaughter them all? Have they antibodies now and who inocculated the deer population? What about the wild boar population?


Foot and mouth virus spreads to wild deerProtesters march to halt mass slaughter

Special report: foot and mouth diseaseAnthony Browne, environment correspondent The Observer, Sunday April 22 2001 Article historyThe foot and mouth virus has passed into Britain's wild deer population, making the Government's policy of mass slaughter of farmyard livestock futile.
There have been several cases of vets clinically identifying the disease in wild deer, some of which have died from it. There have also been many reports from Devon, Cumbria and Northumberland of deer limping and exhibiting other unusual behaviour linked to the disease.

Veterinary experts say it is impossible to vaccinate or cull wild deer and once infected they will act as a reservoir for the virus, repeatedly re-infecting livestock. It will make it almost imposs-ible for Britain to rid itself of the virus, until it dies out naturally in wild deer, which could take years.

Last week a roe deer was found dead at Kirk House Farm near Penrith, which had already been confirmed as having foot and mouth in livestock. Local vet Matt Coulston, of Frame Swift and Partners, identified lesions on all four feet and in its mouth. 'It had signs consistent with foot and mouth disease,' he told The Observer. 'There have been loads of people round here reporting dead deer and sick deer. People suspect that Maff [the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food] are ignoring it because it is difficult to deal with.'

The British Deer Society has been flooded with reports from deer experts reporting the animals limping and being covered with lumps. Mike Squire, secretary of the society, said: 'We find it difficult to believe that deer exposed to the same pastures as infected cattle and sheep have not been exposed to foot and mouth disease.'

A Maff spokesman said yesterday that government vets had tested nine deer for foot and mouth and none had been found positive: 'So far there have been no confirmed cases of foot and mouth in deer.'

However, the Maff vets use the Elisa test, which was developed on cattle and sheep and is not thought to be so effective on deer. Research from Russia also suggests it is very difficult to test whether deer have been infected with foot and mouth from blood samples.

In 1974 the government Animal Health Institute in Pirbright kept a number of deer in proximity to sheep with foot and mouth for two hours in a controlled experiment. The scientists found all six native species of deer contracted the disease, and several died.

In an outbreak of foot and mouth in California in 1924, the outbreak spread rapidly to deer. Slaughtermen culled 22,000 deer in the Stanislav National Park and found that, of those, 2,279 were infected.

Dr John Fletcher, past president of the Veterinary Deer Society, said: 'It's highly likely the virus has entered the wild deer population - the deer are in abundance and graze in close contact with sheep and cattle. Nothing has been confirmed, but there is an abundance of anecdotal evidence, and it would be quite surprising if it hasn't entered the population.'

Simon Booth, director of the Deer Inititiative, the government advisory body on deer in England, said: 'There have been unconfirmed cases of it appearing in deer.'

Deer experts have been calling on Maff for weeks to conduct a selective deer cull to ascertain the extent of the disease and to draw up contingency plans. However, Maff ignored their warnings until it called an emergency meeting on Friday. It is now considering lifting the ban on deer-stalking to provide the carcasses for tests.

The existence of the disease in Britain's 1.5 million wild deer population means the policy of mass slaughter of more than a million farm animals and the closure of most of the British countryside has been pointless. Wild deer are so evasive and diffi cult to track down that it is impossible to vaccinate or cull them. Shooting at herds of deer will simply cause them to run, spreading the disease further.

The deer population will harbour the disease before building up resistance and it eventually dies out. This could take years. Until then the deer will repeatedly re-infect livestock and, with the disease endemic in Britain, meat exports will continue to be banned.

Squire said: 'We're looking at a huge slaughter and cost to the taxpayer for no purpose. How do you think the public will react when they know that?'

Booth said: 'If it's in the deer population, it will mean the mass slaughter policy will not work.' Confirm-ation of foot and mouth among deer will force the Government to abandon the mass slaughter programme, a move that has been steadfastly resisted by the National Union of Farmers. 'It will force their hand into vaccination,' said Fletcher.


www.bds.org.uk British Deer Society http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2001/apr/22/politics.footandmouth



http://www.thedeerinitiative.co.uk/pdf/fmdguide.pdf

From The TimesAugust 7, 2007

Finding the real culprit for foot-and-mouth
Sir, In all the speculation about how the foot-and-mouth virus might have been transmitted from the facilities at Pirbright to the cattle in Normandy (report, August 6 ), one possible vector seems to have gone unmentioned. Holders of allotments, adjacent to the field where the affected cattle were kept, find they are plagued by wild deer. Not only do the cultivators see deerslots everywhere and find their crops chewed, but they also need to check after each visit that they have not picked up ticks.

All species of deer in Britain, particularly roe and muntjac, are susceptible to the foot-and-mouth virus and excrete it at much the same levels as sheep and cattle (Gibbs et al, The Veterinary Record, Vol 96, Issue 26, 558-63, 1975). Between Pirbright and Normandy, the countryside is heavily wooded and there are plenty of woodland corridors, ideal for deer, between more open fields. Is this aspect of biosecurity being addressed?
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/letters/article2210565.ece
« Last Edit: 31/08/2008 20:13:40 by Andrew K Fletcher »
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"Please explain how the deer managed to avoid the virus?"
They are not generally found on cattle or sheep farms where the virus was which helps; of course there were exceptions.
"Veterinary experts say it is impossible to vaccinate or cull wild deer and once infected they will act as a reservoir for the virus, repeatedly re-infecting livestock. It will make it almost imposs-ible for Britain to rid itself of the virus, until it dies out naturally in wild deer, which could take years. "
It clearly didn't take years, but the disease died out just as the experts predicted.

"Booth said: 'If it's in the deer population, it will mean the mass slaughter policy will not work.' "
The mass slaughter policy worked so either this guy was wrong or the disease didn't reach the general deer population.
"A Maff spokesman said yesterday that government vets had tested nine deer for foot and mouth and none had been found positive: 'So far there have been no confirmed cases of foot and mouth in deer.' "
Looks like that's the reason.
Perhaps it's related to this fact
"In an outbreak of foot and mouth in California in 1924, the outbreak spread rapidly to deer. Slaughtermen culled 22,000 deer in the Stanislav National Park and found that, of those, 2,279 were infected."
 so 90% of the deer didn't get the disease.

The other way to look at this is to hypothesis that there is a reservoir of infection in the UK- lets say in deeer for the sake of a concrete example.
OK this is known to be a virrulent disease- it has clear symptoms which, at least since the 2 recent outbreaks, anyone involved in farming would recognise. Even if they didn't spot that it was FMD they would certainly see that the animals were ill and some would proably die.
While it's not very common for deer and cattle or sheep to share pastures it not unheard of.
The experiment you mention shows that deer can catch FMD from other animals so it's fair to assume that the cattle or sheep would catch it from deer if the deer were infected.

If there is a stock of deer carrying the virus in the UK and given that this wet summer has been as good a set of conditions for the spread of the virus as you are likely to ghet, why hasn't there been an outbreak.

Let's be clear about this- if the virus is there you are going to get infected farm animals- the infection spreads like wildfire. It spread quickly even wnen ther are precautions in place to reduce the spread.
In a very short time there would be a massive outbreak. Sick animals would produce little or no milk and they would not get passed as fit for use as food.

How in the name of all that's holy do you think that this could happen and that we wouldn't notice?

Or are you going to say that the outbreak has been covered up by the men in black?
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Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Yes they were found on the farms where cattle and sheep are kept! Deer are everywhere where there is woodland. My wife and I regularly see them in Devon and have noticed their marks on trees in other areas.

Remember it is being said that it takes widespread prolonged flooding or prolonged high humidity to bring the animals down to the point that their own immune system fails and the virus becomes a problem. Under dry conditions the virus quickly retreats, presumably because the animals become more efficient at fighting the infection.

Testing a small group of deer to see if the whole population of deer may be harbouring this virus is unscientific and destined to produce a convenient null effect given the ratio of the deer that were culled in California this would appear to be correct as 9 dead deer could have easily shown that the Californian deer population did not have F&M.

If the disease naturally dies out, how come the World still has this disease? Note the pattern in the rainy season below. And the mention of floods in the South African Extract.l


http://www.fao.org/News/2001/011207-e.htm
Foot-and-mouth disease -- the Maasai caught between two worlds
But East Africa's cattle-raising Maasai people don't kill their infected cattle. For them, foot-and-mouth disease has almost become a part of everyday life -- it's so common they refer to it using the same word they use for the common cold: oloirobi. It occurs almost every rainy season with minimal loss of life.



Foot and mouth disease: the experience of South Africa
http://www.oie.int/eng/publicat/rt/2103/A_r21334.htm
G.K. Brückner, W. Vosloo, B.J.A. Du Plessis, P.E.L.G. Kloeck, L. Connoway, M.D. Ekron, D.B. Weaver, C.J. Dickason, F.J. Schreuder, T. Marais & M.E. Mogajane
Rev. sci. tech. Off. int. Epiz., 2002, 21 (3), 751-764 http://www.oie.int/eng/publicat/rt/2103/4.2.Bruckner.pdf
Summary
Foot and mouth disease (FMD) is endemic in African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) in the Kruger National Park (KNP) and surrounding game parks in South Africa. The last outbreak of the disease in domestic stock outside the FMD control zone occurred in 1957. Due to the success in containing the disease, the country was accorded zone freedom from FMD without vaccination by the Office International des Epizooties (OIE: World organisation for animal health) in 1995. This status was lost in September 2000 when the first-ever recorded case of serotype O in South Africa was diagnosed in a piggery in KwaZulu-Natal after the illegal feeding of untreated swill. In November 2000, an outbreak of FMD caused by serotype South African Territories (SAT) 1 was diagnosed in a feedlot within the free zone of Mpumalanga Province. The SAT 1 outbreak was traced to cattle in the FMD control zone south of the KNP after the game-proof fence surrounding the KNP was severely damaged by floods. This enabled buffalo to come into direct contact with cattle outside the KNP. A further outbreak caused by SAT 2 was diagnosed within the FMD control zone in February 2001, also as a result of buffalo having escaped from the KNP. All these outbreaks were successfully contained, with the re-instatement of zone freedom from FMD without vaccination by the OIE in May 2002.
These outbreaks made it necessary to re-examine the methods of control and containment of FMD that have been practised for many years and which are in line with accepted international practices. The authors describe the rationale for the different control strategies that were followed, the need for a multidisciplinary approach to disease control, the interface between control and technological and diagnostic support and the lessons learned. Some suggestions for future control strategies are also offered.
Keywords
African buffalo – Control strategies – Feedlots – Foot and mouth disease – Logistic support – Multidisciplinary approach – Office International des Epizooties – South Africa – Zones.

Take a good look at the South African experience with F&M here we have an area that has long periods without infection, yet there is a known population of wild animals that carry the disease. The mention of floods again rears its ugly head yet they blame a broken fence for cross contamination when there are ample carriers both predatory and passive and no restrictions on vehicles moving in and out of the infected areas. But the virus remains dorment for long periods. So your argument that we don’t have it so we must be clear of it does not fit with the reality of F&M.
« Last Edit: 31/08/2008 23:24:49 by Andrew K Fletcher »
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"Testing a small group of deer to see if the whole population of deer may be harbouring this virus is unscientific and destined to produce a convenient null effect given the ratio of the deer that were culled in California this would appear to be correct as 9 dead deer could have easily shown that the Californian deer population did not have F&M.
"
Testing only the sick deer is a much better test that you seem to think.

When there's an outbreak it doesn't just affect animal d that have been kept in flooded fields- it spreads out much like fire.
It keeps not happening even though we have bad Summers.
Why not?

You keep not really answering that question.
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Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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I have answered it, it is not the flooded fields but the humidity and dampness that follows the floods as the water returns to the atmosphere.

You fail to understand that if the virus in South Africa can lull for years then re-emerge without an alien introduction other than birds and insects and wild animals, you have to explain how the virus knows it is in Africa, UK,France, or any other country and why it behaves different in the UK than it does in other countries.

The fact of the matter is that it does not behave any different, we also have lulls of often many years.

When I researched this during the 2001 pandemic I learned that there are indeed smaller outbreaks that go unreported over the years.

But lets take a look to see if unusually high humidity plays a roll in perpetuating the disease. Hong Kong is a good start being 2001 and 2002

The Weather of January 2001
    January 2001 was warmer and wetter than usual. The mean temperature of 17.3 degrees was 1.5 degrees above normal and the ninth highest for January. The monthly total rainfall of 47.6 millimetres was more than double the normal value of
November01: http://www.hko.gov.hk/wxinfo/pastwx/metob200111.htm

December 01:  http://www.hko.gov.hk/wxinfo/pastwx/metob200112.htm

February  02:  http://www.hko.gov.hk/wxinfo/pastwx/metob200202.htm

March 02:  http://www.hko.gov.hk/wxinfo/pastwx/metob200203.htm

April 02: http://www.hko.gov.hk/wxinfo/pastwx/metob200204.htm

May 02 : http://www.hko.gov.hk/wxinfo/pastwx/metob200205.htm

June: 02: http://www.hko.gov.hk/wxinfo/pastwx/metob200206.htm

July 02: http://www.hko.gov.hk/wxinfo/pastwx/metob200207.htm

August 02: http://www.hko.gov.hk/wxinfo/pastwx/metob200208.htm

September 02  http://www.hko.gov.hk/wxinfo/pastwx/metob200109.htm

October 02: http://www.hko.gov.hk/wxinfo/pastwx/metob200210.htm

November 02: http://www.hko.gov.hk/wxinfo/pastwx/metob200211.htm

December 02: http://www.hko.gov.hk/wxinfo/pastwx/metob200212.htm



http://www.hko.gov.hk/wxinfo/pastwx/mws200201.htm  Weather January 02


Foot-and-mouth disease under control
Monday, January 26, 2004
There is no evidence to suggest that foot-and-mouth disease in Hong Kong is more serious this year than in previous years, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) said today (January 26).
Some 1,200 pigs were confirmed to have been infected with foot-and-mouth disease in 2003, compared with some 2,200 and 4,100 for 2002 and 2001 respectively. Most of the pigs were infected in the winter months. In January this year about 900 pigs were reported to have been infected.
"Farmers should report foot-and-mouth disease cases to the AFCD as soon as possible. It is in their best interests to do so as this allows the AFCD to provide farmers with veterinary diagnostic services. It also enables us to monitor the serotype of the virus so that an appropriate vaccine could be chosen if a new serotype is found," AFCD's Assistant Director (Inspection and Quarantine) Mr Lai Ching-wai said.
"The AFCD has started inspecting pig farms again to look for any unreported foot-and-mouth disease cases. An operation has also been mounted by the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department to check for any illegal dumping of dead pigs," he said.
Foot-and-mouth disease is a common viral disease occurring in pigs in the region including in Hong Kong. The disease does occur in pigs in Hong Kong during the winter months. Farmers control the disease by vaccination.

Now lets take a look at the weather of 2003 in Hong Kong. The report above states F&M under control Jan 2004. So we should see a significant drop in humidity from September 2003 to January 2004.

Early September follows the high humidity trend which falls to lower levels towards the end of the month. October humidity is much lower November lower still and December lower again.

Jan 03: http://www.hko.gov.hk/wxinfo/pastwx/metob200301.htm
Feb 03: http://www.hko.gov.hk/wxinfo/pastwx/metob200302.htm
Mar 03: http://www.hko.gov.hk/wxinfo/pastwx/metob200303.htm
Apr 03: http://www.hko.gov.hk/wxinfo/pastwx/metob200304.htm
May 03: http://www.hko.gov.hk/wxinfo/pastwx/metob200305.htm
June 03: http://www.hko.gov.hk/wxinfo/pastwx/metob200306.htm
Jul 03: http://www.hko.gov.hk/wxinfo/pastwx/metob200307.htm
Aug 03: http://www.hko.gov.hk/wxinfo/pastwx/metob200308.htm
Sep 03: http://www.hko.gov.hk/wxinfo/pastwx/metob200309.htm
Oct 03: http://www.hko.gov.hk/wxinfo/pastwx/metob200310.htm
Nov 03: http://www.hko.gov.hk/wxinfo/pastwx/metob200311.htm
Dec 03: http://www.hko.gov.hk/wxinfo/pastwx/metob200312.htm
« Last Edit: 01/09/2008 09:33:13 by Andrew K Fletcher »
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"you have to explain how the virus knows it is in Africa, UK,France, or any other country and why it behaves different in the UK than it does in other countries."
OK, that looks like an interesting challenge.
A virus cannot really "know" anything, but it does carry information. For example the virus carries information about what strain it is.
In particular, the virus that caused the 2007 outbreak was the same one that had caused the 1967 outbreak- hardly suprising since that's the strain that pirbright dealt with. The report into that outbreak points out that this particular strain is no longer found in the wild. there's a link to the report here.
http://www.hse.gov.uk/news/archive/07aug/footandmouth.htm
and this is what it says "Defra identified the strain of FMDV involved in the outbreak as Type O1 BFS67,
which is the strain recovered from the 1967 FMD epidemic in Great Britain. This strain
is used in FMD reference laboratories and pharmaceutical manufacturing plants and
is not known to be currently in circulation anywhere in the world. Hereafter this will be
referred to as the O1 BFS strain."

OK, so that's one thing this virus can be said to "know" it "knows" that it came from a research facility- not the wild..

The other question is how the virus can know it's in the UK rather than in Africa.
Again, of course, it can't- but it doesn't need to.
All it needs to do is infect the local cattle (and, lets face it, it will do that).
In Africa it will meet cattle that have often been infected before so it will not cause any infection. The animal's immune system will wipe it out.
Sometimes it will meet a young animal that has never been infected before- in this case it will cause disease but, like the different strains of the virus, there are different bloodlines in the cattle. The cattle in Africa are those whose parents and grandparents etc for many generations have withstood the virus.

In the UK it faces a different world. None of the cattle have been infected with FMD before- so they are all fully susceptible. Also, while cattle have been deliberately bred for many characteristics, FMD resistance hasn't been a factor for generations.

You might think that this difference isn't big enough to explain the observed difference between outbreaks in the UK and the endemic disease in Africa.
Have you read what happened when the first Europeans traveled to South America and introduced viruses like measles, flu etc.?
They often wiped out the local population.
http://www.millersville.edu/~columbus/papers/orlow-e.html

There's yet another thing that viruses "know" - that it doesn't help to be too virulent. If a virus causes a massive infection the host dies out before the virus spreads very far. That's not good for the virus. It makes sense for the virus to evolve into a version that causes relatively mild symptoms (or even none at all) in the host.

In the decades since the older outbreaks in the UK the wild virus will have "calmed down". The stocks maintained in labs are under no such evolutionary pressure and will Therefore be more vigorous than the current wild forms.

Since the recent outbreak was an old virus, it's not that odd that it did more damage than the current wild strains.

Incidentally, re. "When I researched this during the 2001 pandemic I learned that there are indeed smaller outbreaks that go unreported over the years."
Not in the UK there aren't.

Thanks for the Hong Kong weather reports, but the fact is that you don't have any evidence to back your conspiracy theory.

and, just to reiterate the point,
"I have answered it, it is not the flooded fields but the humidity and dampness that follows the floods as the water returns to the atmosphere. "
In much the same way that the UK often has wet Summers, it often has high humidity.
The wet (or humid) conditions are common, but outbreaks are not.
You still need to explain the lack of outbreaks in other wet Summers. The difference between "wet" and "humid" isn't that big really.



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Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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http://ukpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5guxWtyfYWpqQXW0pO97c-Wi7iiXQ
New outbreak of bluetongue found
1 day ago
A fresh outbreak of bluetongue has been detected in livestock imported to the UK, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has said.
The disease, which can be fatal to animals such as cows and sheep, was identified in 18 cattle on premises near Bishop Auckland, County Durham.


http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/3664233.Disease_outbreak_blow_to_farmers/
Disease outbreak blow to farmers
9:13am Thursday 11th September 2008
Farming leaders said last night that the latest outbreak, coming after the summer’s poor weather, which has wrecked crops, was further “dreadful news”.
Country Land and Business Association’s (CLA) regional director Dorothy Fairburn said: “This will be a blow to the whole industry.
“I would urge farmers to contact the National Farmers’ Union and the CLA for further information. It won’t have the same sort of serious effects as foot-and-mouth, but it couldn’t have come at a worse time of year for the sales of sheep and store cattle.
“It is absolutely dreadful news.”
Despite the threat from bluetongue – which has ravaged livestock across Europe – only one in five farmers have vaccinated their animals.
The disease is spread by midges that thrive in late summer weather. There are no cases of it being transferred to humans, but the illness can be fatal for cows and sheep.
The outbreak prompted warnings about importing cattle from the Continent where the NFU says the virus is virulent.
More than 30,000 cases were confirmed in France in one week last month.
NFU president Peter Kendall said: “Farmers need to be confident that either the animals have been correctly vaccinated and met all the appropriate conditions of the vaccine or they must be sure that the animals are not carrying the bluetongue virus through thorough testing.
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I'm sorry, but not suprised to hear that.
What has it got to do with the thread?
Bluetongue isn't foot and mouth disease.
FMD is not spread by biting midges which can be carried accross the channel on the wind.
FMD isn't widespread in Europe.
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Offline Andrew K Fletcher

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Included Blue Tongue on the original post to show close relationship with weather and yes I agree that midges are responsible for infecting the herds, but suspect that the weather also plays a part in lowering the animals immune system and body temperature assisting the infection rates.
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Bluetongue outbreaks die out in Winter when it's cold and wet.
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Bluetongue outbreaks die out in Winter when it's cold and wet.

Bluetongue surviving winter by infecting livestock foetuses
Tuesday, 26 Aug 2008 12:13
Scientists have come up with a number of hypotheses for explaining how the Bluetongue virus survives winter.

When it first reached livestock in northern Europe in 2006 it was thought that the virus would be killed off during the winter and thereby prevent it from spreading.

However, the virus did survive the winter and in fact escalated the following year.

Scientists from the Institute for Animal Health looked into how the virus survived in the open access journal PLoS Biology.

They claim that the survival may be due to a number of different reasons. In mild winters, such as that of 2006/07 for example, the infected midges may have survived in livestock barns before becoming active again in spring.

Another possibility is that Bluetongue is in fact spread by some susceptible species of long-lived ticks and by the simple mechanical transmission by Melopagus ovinus, a wingless parasite that lives in sheep.

Evidence from Australia also points to the fact that the Bluetongue virus can survive inside midges and cattle for three to four months, enough time to survive the majority of winter.

In northern Europe, it seems that the virus can survive by transplacental infections – spreading from an infected pregnant animal to its foetus. This is a significant phenomenon in cattle due to its nine month gestation period.

Dr Mellor, of the Institute for Animal Health, concludes: "Experiments have revealed a toolbox of possible mechanisms, with the potential to interact with and complement one another..
http://www.inthenews.co.uk/news/science/
« Last Edit: 13/09/2008 21:33:16 by Andrew K Fletcher »
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Many bluetongue outbreaks die out in Winter when it's cold and wet.
Please disregard all previous signatures.