August 15, 2007

Modelling the spread of foot and mouth infection

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Matthew Vernon discusses his work modelling the spread of infections such as foot and mouth in cattle and how these models can inform the response to an outbreak.

- 2 comments by 1 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Alasdair Paterson

    One practical way to ensure that the cattle (and other stock) movement data is recorded in the shortest possible time is for all such movements to be recorded on line. There is no reason why this cannot be done with the necessary security (passwords etc.) put in place. Nowadays the majority of farmers have access to the internet and would prefer to use it rather than filling out paper copies of cattle movements and sending these by post.

    With the right programs written or already existing to record cattle movements, any movements of cattle, where they have coincided with other cattle (at markets, dealers and farms), can be quickly established. From this any cross contamination where a disease outbreak has occured, can be known and any other potentially infected cattle isolated and tested.

    15 Aug 2007, 18:01

  2. Movements of cattle may now be reported online; DEFRA might be able to tell you what proportion of movements are reported online. There are a couple of other issues, though. Firstly, many farmers are not online yet, and have little desire to get online; indeed, they sometimes complain that it is harder to keep abreast of things like the current FMD outbreak without internet access. Secondly, even if movements are reported online (and it became compulsary to do so within a short time-period of the movement), there is still a certain amount of data processing that is done before the movement data are made available to researchers.

    20 Aug 2007, 14:58

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