The Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs confirmed the disease has infected 39 of 131 pigs, killing one of them. Foot and mouth disease is highly contagious and affects cloven-hoofed animals. Last year China was forced to cull 286 cows after an outbreak of O-type foot-and-mouth disease broke out in cattle in Ruoqiang County.
The virus causes a high fever lasting two to six days followed by blisters inside the mouth and feet, often resulting in lameness.
Humans can be infected with foot and mouth disease (FMD) through contact with animals but this is extremely rare, according to research published in the medical journal, The Lancet, in 2001 by Giovanni Luigi Capella.
In 2001 an outbreak of foot and mouth in the UK caused a crisis for British agriculture as more than six million cows and sheep were killed in a bid to halt the spread of the disease.
At the time it was estimated to have cost UK £8billion.
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The first case was reported in Essex on February 19, 2001, but in the days that followed more instances of FMD were recorded in Devon and Northumberland.
By March it has also spread to Cornwall, the Lake District and southern Scotland.
The outbreak of foot and mouth disease comes after China’s embassy in Kazakhstan said the country had seen 1,772 deaths in the first half of the year from a previously unknown type of pneumonia, some of whom were Chinese nationals.
The health ministry of Kazakhstan said on Friday the report was “not true”.
Foot and mouth spread across the UK in 2001
It also comes as China is still reeling from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Last month, Beijing saw a wave of new infections spread across the city with 137 people infected by COVID-19 in just six days.
Following up to 57 days without reporting any new cases, at least 137 people tested positive for the deadly virus.
The Xinfandi food market in Beijing is thought to be the source of the outbreak, similarly to the exotic meat market in Wuhan which is considered to be where the coronavirus originated.
At the time, at least 27 neighbourhoods were placed at medium risk while another close to the market was thought to be at high risk.
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People in neighbourhoods in either category were not allowed to leave.
As well as COVID-19, the Communist nation is also battling cases of the Bubonic Plague.
Authorities in Bayan Nur, a city in the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia, reported a suspected case of the deadly disease, earlier this month.
A level three warning, which was issued by Chinese authorities, is the second-lowest in a four-level system and meant hunting and eating of wild animals was forbidden.
The health committee in China issued a statement warning the level three alert would continue until the end of 2020.
Their statement said: “At present, there is a risk of a human plague epidemic spreading in this city.
“The public should improve its self-protection awareness and ability, and report abnormal health conditions promptly.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), patients who catch the deadly disease develop a sudden onset of fever, headache, chills, and painful lymph nodes.
Chinese president Xi Jinping wearing a face mask
Some Chinese officials have repeatedly denied the deadly coronavirus started in the nation.
Beijing continues to argue the virus spread naturally from animals to humans in a food market selling exotic animals.
US President Donald Trump has lashed out at China and blamed them for the deadly virus.