Ward MP, Highfield LD, Vongseng P, Garner MG
Simulation of foot-and-mouth disease spread within an integrated livesrock system in Texas, USA
Preventive Veterinary Medicine
We used a simulation study to assess the impact of an incursion of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) virus on the livestock industries in an 8-county area of the Panhandle region of Texas, USA. The study was conducted in a high-density livestock area, with an estimated number of cattle on-feed of approximately 1.8 million. We modified an existing stochastic, spatial simulation model to simulate 64 scenarios for planning and decision-making. Our scenarios simulated four different herd types for the index herd (company feedlot, backgrounder feedlot, large beef, backyard) and variations in three mitigation strategies (time-of-detection, vaccine availability, and surveillance during disease control). Under our assumptions about availability of resources to manage an outbreak, median epidemic lengths in the scenarios with commercial feedlot, backgrounder feedlot, large beef and backyard index herd types ranged from 28 to 52, 19 to 39, 18 to 32, and 18 to 36 days, respectively, and the average number of herds depopulated ranged from 4 to 101, 2 to 29, 1 to 15 and 1 to 18, respectively. Early detection of FMD in the index herd had the largest impact on reducing (∼13–21 days) the length of epidemics and the number of herds (∼5–34) depopulated. Although most predicted epidemics lasted only ∼1–2 months, and <100 herds needed to be depopulated, large outbreaks lasting ∼8–9 months with up to 230 herds depopulated might occur.