Description of an epidemic simulation model for use in evaluating strategies to control an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease

Thomas W. Bates, Mark Thurmond, Tim Carpenter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


Objective - To develop a spatial epidemic model to simulate intraherd and interherd transmission of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) virus. Sample Population - 2,238 herds, representing beef, dairy, swine, goats, and sheep, and 5 sale yards located in Fresno, Kings, and Tulare counties of California. Procedure - Using Monte-Carlo simulations, a spatial stochastic epidemic simulation model was developed to identify new herds that would acquire FMD following random selection of an index herd and to assess progression of an epidemic after implementation of mandatory control strategies. Results - The model included species-specific transition periods for FMD infection, locations of herds, rates of direct and indirect contacts among herds, and probability distributions derived from expert opinions on probabilities of transmission by direct and indirect contact, as well as reduction in contact following implementation of restrictions on movements in designated infected areas and surveillance zones. Models of supplemental control programs included slaughter of all animals within a specified distance of infected herds, slaughter of only high-risk animals identified by use of a model simulation, and vaccination of all animals within a 5- to 50-km radius of infected herds. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance - The FMD model represents a tool for use in planning biosecurity and emergency-response programs and in comparing potential benefits of various strategies for control and eradication of FMD appropriate for specific populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-204
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Veterinary Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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