Epidemic and economic impacts of delayed detection of foot-and-mouth disease: A case study of a simulated outbreak in California

Tim Carpenter, Joshua M. O'Brien, Amy D. Hagerman, Bruce A. Mccarl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


The epidemic and economic impacts of Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) spread and control were examined by using epidemic simulation and economic (epinomic) optimization models. The simulated index herd was a ≥2,000 cow dairy located in California. Simulated disease spread was limited to California; however, economic impact was assessed throughout the United States and included international trade effects. Five index case detection delays were examined, which ranged from 7 to 22 days. The simulated median number of infected premises (IP) ranged from approximately 15 to 745, increasing as the detection delay increased from 7 to 22 days. Similarly, the median number of herds under quarantine increased from approximately 680 to 6,200, whereas animals slaughtered went from approximately 8,700 to 260,400 for detection delays of 7-22 days, respectively. The median economic impact of an FMD outbreak in California was estimated to result in national agriculture welfare losses of $2.3-$69.0 billion as detection delay increased from 7 to 22 days, respectively. If assuming a detection delay of 21 days, it was estimated that, for every additional hr of delay, the impact would be an additional approximately 2,000 animals slaughtered and an additional economic loss of $565 million. These findings underline the critical importance that the United States has an effective early detection system in place before an introduction of FMDV if it hopes to avoid dramatic losses to both livestock and the economy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-33
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Diagnostic delay
  • Economics
  • Epidemic model
  • Foot-and-mouth disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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