RealNews

Mock foot-and-mouth outbreak gauges state’s ability to respond

Gathered around a table at the Maine Emergency Management Agency on Tuesday morning, state and federal veterinarians, the state’s Emergency Response Team and officials from the Maine Department of Agriculture heard the bad news. As part of a mock exercise, they were informed that Maine had a “positive” case of foot-and-mouth disease, a severe, highly communicable viral disease of cattle and swine that also affects sheep, goats, deer and other cloven-hoofed ruminants. The diagnosis was fake, but the group’s response was not. It was an exercise that tested the state’s emergency response capability, planning and readiness for just such an outbreak. The exercise is part of a series involving the United States, Mexico and Canada and has been planned by the Center for Naval Analysis, which also has conducted similar drills with Texas, Mexico and California. Full Story

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