Three cases of humans contracting Foot-and-mouth disease have been reported in Britain. The disease is extremely mild in people, with flu-like symptoms and blisters on the hands and inside the mouth. “There are a lot of symptomsthat can seem similar to foot-and-mouth and the case yesterday has obviously raised concerns,” said a public health official about one of the cases.
In the most bizarre case, a man working in a slaughter house accidentally swallowed fluid from a decomposing carcass, while slaughtering diseased animals. He was working on a rotting cattle carcass when it burst, sending fluid into his mouth.
There are no cases of human-to-human transmission of the disease. A spokesman for Prime Minister Tony Blair states, “As we have said throughout, there is no health risk to the general population. There is no question of any meat going into the food chain. Even if it were to do so, there is norisk to human health.”
The last confirmed case of human foot-and-mouth disease was diagnosed in 1967. The victim developed a mild temperature, a sore throat and blisters on the palms of his hands and on his tongue. He said, “It was rather like flu.I just felt a bit groggy.”
As Britain continues killing and burning thousands of diseased animals, toxicologists are warning that the burning of livestock poses a cancer risk to humans. A government-funded reports estimates that in six weeks, the fires released more than two-thirds of the dioxins produced by Britishindustry in a year.
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