SEARCH

Entries in Foot and Mouth Disease (1)

Friday
Nov192010

Outbreak Feared in Proposed Federal Disease Research Facility

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(KANSAS CITY) -- A federal disease research facility planned for Manhattan, Kan., has sparked controversy after a safety study reported a 70 percent chance of an outbreak of dangerous and contagious diseases.

Located about 120 miles west of Kansas City, the proposed $451 million National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility would study dangerous foreign animal and zoonotic diseases, which are illnesses passed between humans and animals. It would be the first time in almost 75 years that research of highly contagious foot and mouth disease would be allowed to take place on the U.S. mainland.

In a report critiquing the Homeland Security risk assessment study, the National Research Council issued several warnings about the current plan for the facility, chief among them, it said, was a 70 percent chance of a foot and mouth disease outbreak over the building's 50-year lifespan.

Although the Department of Homeland Security assessment put the cost of an outbreak between $9 billion and $50 billion, the report suggests the cost would be much higher.

Foot and mouth disease, a severe viral infection that affects cloven-footed animals such cattle and pigs, is one of the most dreaded diseases among farmers. An outbreak in the United Kingdom in 2001 had grave economic consequences for the country's agriculture industry: with more than 2,000 cases, thousands of healthy animals were slaughtered as a preventive measure.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio