Japan Battles FMD

Japan has intensified its campaign to eradicate foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) by extending the zone in which livestock will be depopulated to 10 km (6.2 mi) from affected farms.  Countries that hope to regain international markets as quickly as possible must make difficult choices amidst uncertainty.  Strict movement controls, culling, and cleaning and disinfection are the primary strategies in this situation.  Vaccination is an option but cannot be implemented until the serotype and strain of virus is known, vaccine is produced, and logistics are established for distributing and administering vaccine. Vaccine development must meet very high standards as explained in the OIE Terrestrial Manual.  The use of vaccination may complicate the process of regaining recognition as a country free of FMD.

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