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Product title :

Control of foot and mouth disease: lessons from the experience of the outbreak in Great Britain in 2001

Author(s) : J.M. Scudamore & D.M. Harris

Summary :

An epidemic of foot and mouth disease occurred on an unprecedented scale in Great Britain in 2001. This was characterised by widespread dissemination of disease in sheep due to infection being present but unreported for at least three weeks before the first case was identified. As envisaged by the contingency plans, existing procedures dealt rapidly with disease in many parts of the country where outbreaks were reported. Elsewhere, the scale and speed of disease spread was so great that veterinary resources had to be supplemented on the operational front by a large influx of military and administrative support. At the time of writing (June 2002), the United Kingdom Government has already identified a number of key lessons, and will learn further from this experience and from the findings of inquiries, how a future outbreak of this unprecedented nature and extent could be handled. Lessons identified so far relate to the improvement of contingency plans, the wider impact on rural businesses and communities, reassessing the possible use of emergency vaccination, the availability of serological capacity, better animal identification and movement controls, carcass disposal, communications, data handling and management information. The authors present the initial lessons learned and which formed the basis of official submissions to the inquiries. Further lessons will be learned from the findings of those inquiries.

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