Identification

Author

Ferguson NM, Donnelly CA, Anderson RM

Title

Transmission integrity and impact of control policies on the foot and mouth epidemic in Great Britain

Year

2001

Publication type

Article

Journal

Nature

Created

2013-05-31 15:38:48+00:00

Modified

2016-06-09 21:03:22.402710+00:00

Details

Volume

413

Access

Language

English

URL http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v413/n6855/abs/413542a0.html
DOI

10.1038/35097116

Accessed

2016-06-09

Extended information

Abstract

The foot and mouth disease (FMD) epidemic in British livestock remains an ongoing cause for concern, with new cases still arising in previously unaffected areas. Epidemiological analyses have been vital in delivering scientific advice to government on effective control measures. Using disease, culling and census data on all livestock farms in Great Britain, we analysed the risk factors determining the spatiotemporal evolution of the epidemic and of the impact of control policies on FMD incidence. Here we show that the species mix, animal numbers and the number of distinct land parcels in a farm are central to explaining regional variation in transmission intensity. We use the parameter estimates thus obtained in a dynamical model of disease spread to show that extended culling programmes were essential for controlling the epidemic to the extent achieved, but demonstrate that the epidemic could have been substantially reduced in scale had the most efficient control measures been rigorously applied earlier.