Foot and mouth: first human case suspected

The first suspected case of foot and mouth disease in a human being has been confirmed in the United Kingdom, amid fears that the burning of hundreds of thousands of carcasses on mass funeral pyres could be spreading the disease and increasing the risk of it passing to human beings. It should be pointed out that the human variant of foot and mouth disease is extremely rare and, if this case is confirmed, it will only be the second on record in the UK. A health spokesman stated that the disease is mild in human beings and that in principle it cannot be transmitted from person to person. The man thought to be infected with the disease has blisters on his hands and feet and in his mouth. He is at home, with a low temperature but is expected to make a full recovery within days. His name has not been divulged, but it is confirmed that he was a slaughterman, involved in close contact with the carcasses of infected cattle for some weeks in the county of Cumbria, one of the worst affected, in the north of England. One vet, who asked to remain anonymous, stated that it was only a matter of time before this disease appeared in human beings. The Director of Public Health has warned General practitioners to look out for the symptoms of the human variant of foot and mouth disease.


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