Foot-and-mouth disease: an assessment of the risks facing New Zealand
Although New Zealand has never had a case of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), the threat that this disease poses to the economy of this country has long been recognised. The unprecedented global spread of FMD caused by the type-O PanAsia strain, culminating in the outbreak that occurred in the United Kingdom in early 2001, has refocussed the concerns of biosecurity agencies worldwide. The 3 lines of defence against exotic disease incursions in this country are border controls, surveillance and incursion response capability. This article reviews the pathogenesis, virus survival, routes of infection and methods of spread of FMD virus, and in the light of recent international developments, presents a summary of the major risks of introduction and dissemination of FMD virus and the risk-management measures in place in this country.
KEY WORDS: Foot-and-mouth disease, FMD, epidemiology, import risk analysis, risk assessment