Biosecurity procedures to reduce the risk of the spread of foot and mouth disease will be implemented throughout next weekend’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital Open House event at Colorado State University.
Dr. Paul Morley, director of biosecurity for the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Colorado State University announced the immediate implementation of recommended protocols for the faculty, staff and students of the Colleges of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. Dr. Wayne Cunningham, The Colorado State Veterinarian and the top authority concerning infectious diseases in animals, has endorsed these policies.
Although no cases of foot and mouth disease have been reported, Dr. Morley and the faculty and staff at the college say that awareness and preparedness cannot be stressed enough.
"We feel these precautions are very important considering the highly contagious nature of the disease," Dr. Morley said. "A heightened awareness on behalf of the entire Colorado State campus community, and the general public who will be visiting the hospital can only be beneficial to all concerned."
Visitors to the Open House event, April 6-8 will be asked questions about recent overseas travel through affected countries, and will be asked to step into disinfecting mats before entering the hospital, the barns or the Raptor Center.
"Visitors shouldn’t be deterred from attending the event. These precautions aren’t onerous and we think the public will probably appreciate the extra effort we are taking," Morley said.
"We do encourage anyone who has returned from an affected country to immediately launder or dry clean their traveling clothes and to clean and disinfect shoes, belts, watches and other items of jewelry. This is very easy to do, and so very important."
Attached are highlights of recommended policies and procedures. Anyone wanting information on the disease, including precautions or the latest news on affected areas, can visit the following websites:
Governmental and Medical Sites:
- USDA-APHIS – www.aphis.usda.gov/oa/fmd/
- European Commission for the Control of Foot-and-Mouth Disease – www.fao.org/WAICENT/FAOINFO/AGRICULT/AGA/AGAH/EUFMD/default.htm
- The Office International Des Epizooties – www.oie.int/eng/en_index.htm
- Colorado Department of Agriculture – www.ag.state.co.us/animals/animals.html
- AVMA – www.avma.org/press/fmd/default.asp
- Colorado Veterinary Medical Assn.: www.colovma.com
- Travel Britain (the official site for Americans traveling to Britain) – www.travelbritain.org/NewHome/newsflash.htm
- Rick Steves – www.ricksteves.com/travnews/01-03/foot.htm
General News Sites:
- CNN – www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2001/foot.mouth/
- BBC – news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/in_depth/uk/2001/foot_and_mouth/default.stm
Precautions to Prevent Introduction of Foot and Mouth Disease
Because of recent outbreaks of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in Great Britain and elsewhere, CSU personnel and students are advised to follow policies recommended by the CSU College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (CVMBS) which are designed to reduce the risk of FMD introduction. These policies have been endorsed by the Colorado State Veterinarian, Dr. Wayne Cunningham.
- FMD is extremely contagious. The virus can survive for extended periods in soil, manure, clothing, on surfaces, etc. Additionally, humans and animals that are not susceptible to infection can still carry the virus in the nasal passages for 5 days.
- Persons traveling from or through countries where FMD is found must take extra precautions to avoid introducing the virus into the United States.
- All persons traveling from or through FMD-positive countries must strictly avoid direct contact with animals or their environments for 7 days after arrival in the U.S.
- Clothing brought from another country should be laundered or dry-cleaned as soon as possible upon return. This includes outerwear such as coats.
- Footwear, belts, watches, jewelry, and other similar items should be washed and disinfected.
- No animal products that could be contaminated with FMD should be brought from other countries. This includes food items.
- Upon entering the U.S., persons traveling from other countries must fully disclose to Customs and USDA representatives their intent to visit an agriculture facility in the U.S. They also must fully disclose any animal materials or products being brought into the U.S.
- Individuals hosting overseas visitors are responsible for alerting these visitors to FMD biosecurity policies, and for ensuring that all appropriate precautions are taken.
- Any possible exposure of people or animals to FMD must be immediately made known to the Colorado State Veterinarian.
- Individuals should be alert for evidence of vesicular diseases in animals. Descriptions and pictures of affected animals can be found by following links on the CVMBS Biosecurity or the USDA websites listed below. Any evidence of the disease should be immediately reported to the Colorado State Veterinarian.
For more information: College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences www.vth.colostate.edu/vth/biosecurity/index.htm OR Dr. Paul Morley, CVMBS Director of Biosecurity (970) 491-7332.