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‘Window of opportunity’ for detecting FMD

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EXPERIMENTAL studies by researchers at the Institute for Animal Health (IAH) and the University of Edinburgh have found that cattle infected with foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) do not become infectious to others until, on average, half a day after they first show clinical signs of the disease. However, they found that it is possible to detect the virus in the 24-hour period before animals become infectious and therefore, they suggest, there is a ‘window of opportunity’ during which it would be possible to detect and remove affected animals before they pass on the infection.

Writing in the journal Science, the researchers say that their results imply that ‘controversial preemptive control measures may be unnecessary; instead, efforts should be directed at early detection of infection …

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