Hoof and Mouth disease-HMD (also known as ‘foot and mouth disease or FMD) is one of the most highly contagious animal diseases on Earth.  It can be spread by infected animals through aerosols, through contact with contaminated farming equipment, vehicles, clothing, or feed, and by domestic and wild predators.

Its containment demands considerable efforts in vaccination, strict monitoring, trade restrictions, and quarantines.  Strategies may also include the euthanasia of animals to prevent disease spread.

Read our FAQ’s and find resources below picture.

hoof and mouth tongue

Bovine Tongue with HMD


Is HMD present in the United States?

The United States is considered free of HMD.  The last outbreak in any US animal occurred in 1929.  Considerable effort is required by animal health officials to keep this virus from emerging in the US.

Can man be affected by HMD?

Although many textbooks on zoonoses refer to Homo sapiens as a potential host, there are no infections known from basically healthy persons. There is a common illness in children known as ‘hand foot and mouth disease’, which is caused by a coxsackie virus which is NOT HDM, but its easy to see where these common names cause confusion!

What zoo animals are affected by HMD?

The susceptibility of every species of animal isn’t actually known.  Cloven hooved animals, such as sheep, goats and African buffalo are known to be susceptible.  The disease has been identified in captive Asian elephants.



For more technical information on HMD, see the following link from the American Association of Zoo Veterinarians Infectious Disease Manual:

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