Although there hasn’t been an outbreak of foot and mouth disease (FMD) in 88 years, the threat of the disease and the economic loss associated with an outbreak is enough for experts to continue to research ways to stop the disease before it spreads throughout the United States.

Associated mostly with cattle and hogs, FMD is a highly contagious animal disease. It does not pose a threat to humans or food safety.

Between 1870 and 1929, there have been nine outbreaks of FMD in the United States, according to James Roth, director of the Center of Food Security and Public Health at Iowa State University. There hasn’t been an outbreak of FMD in the United States since 1929, Roth said.

“We’ve now gone 88 years without an outbreak because a lot of laws changed about importing animals and...