South Dakota Department of Health
ALL questions regarding Foot-and-Mouth Disease: Call 1-800-601-9327
This material is provided for informational purposes only and is not a substitute
for medical care. We are not able to answer personal medical questions. Please see your
health care provider concerning appropriate care, treatment or other medical advice.
Can humans get it?
Human disease is extremely rare and usually mild if it occurs. It may cause an acute fever and small blisters on the hands, feet and inner mouth. The only human case in medical literature was reported from England in 1967 (Lancet).
Is it similar to Hand-Foot-Mouth disease in humans?
No. Hand-Foot-Mouth disease is a different disease caused by a different virus. Hand-Foot-Mouth disease usually affects children under 10-years old. It is transmitted by direct contact with nasal/throat secretions and feces.
Can humans carry the Foot-and-Mouth virus?
Humans may carry the virus on their shoes, clothes, or personal objects. Humans may also passively carry the virus in their nose and throat.
Are there any precautions for travelers before going to affected areas like the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Argentina or Bangladesh?
There are no precautions before traveling.
Are there any precautions for travelers coming to the USA and South Dakota from affected areas?
Yes. All international travelers must state on their Customs Declaration Form whether or not they have been on a farm or in contact with livestock, and if they are bringing any meat or dairy products into the USA with them. Agriculture officials will inspect the baggage of all travelers who indicate they have been on a farm or in contact with livestock. (This is done at the first point of entry into the USA, not regional airports in Sioux Falls, Pierre, Rapid City, Aberdeen, etc)
Any soiled footwear must be disinfected with detergent and bleach. Travelers must avoid contact with livestock or wildlife for 5 days after returning to South Dakota. In addition, soiled clothing must be washed and disinfected prior to returning to the United States. You may not bring pork, beef or sheep products into the country.
Is it safe to eat the meat from infected animals?
Cooked meats are generally safe for consumption because the virus is killed by heat.
Are pets affected by Foot-and-Mouth Disease?
Dogs may be affected, but not cats.
Are humans affected in any other ways?
Yes. Rural stress, economic loss, travel restrictions.