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Foot and mouth epidemic had wide sequelae

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: (Published 24 November 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:0-c

The epidemic of foot and mouth disease in the United Kingdom in 2001 had profound psychosocialeffects on a wide range of rural workers and residents. Mort and colleagues (p 1234) conducted a qualitative, ethnographic, diary based study of 54 respondents from Cumbria (the worst affected areain Britain) and found that the epidemic caused considerable distress not only among farmers but also in other rural citizens. More traditional biomedical or health research methods could not have captured these effects of the epidemic, say the authors. The authors also provide recommendations to improve disaster management in the future.

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