It was a rapidly-spreading virus, with stringent measures taken to contain its transmission. It delayed elections and had a huge economic impact. Sound familiar?
On 19 February 2001 a case of foot-and-mouth disease was discovered at an abattoir in Essex.
By the time the outbreak was declared over it had spread across the British countryside and more than six million sheep, cattle and pigs had been slaughtered.
There had been major disruption nationally and, although the disease did not leap to humans, the overall cost to the UK economy was estimated at £8bn.
As with the current coronavirus crisis, there was criticism of the government for not shutting things down quickly enough, and in the early stages complaints of a shortage of equipment and resources.
Peter Frost-Pennington was a semi-retired vet who volunteered to help out in the unfolding crisis and was told to report to the operation centre in Carlisle.
He said: “I had my own boots, waterproofs and a thermometer, literally, there was nothing in stores. I had to bring my own bucket and brush; my own PPE effectively.
“It was only later [the government] opened the chequebook and also brought in the army.”
He described aspects of his work as “hugely upsetting”, having to slaughter animals when normally his job would be to save them.
“At one point I worked for 23 hours in a row culling infected animals”, he said.
“But I just took a deep breath and did my duty, like I’m sure people on the front