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Product title :

Investment in preventing and preparing for biological emergencies and disasters: social and economic costs of disasters versus costs of surveillance and response preparedness

Author(s) : J. Rushton & M. Upton

Summary :

Biological emergencies such as the appearance of an exotic transboundary or emerging disease can become disasters. The question that faces Veterinary Services in developing countries is how to balance resources dedicated to active insurance measures, such as border control, surveillance, working with the governments of developing countries, and investing in improving veterinary knowledge and tools, with passive measures, such as contingency funds and vaccine banks. There is strong evidence that the animal health situation in developed countries has improved and is relatively stable. In addition, through trade with other countries, developing countries are becoming part of the international animal health system, the status of which is improving, though with occasional setbacks. However, despite these improvements, the risk of a possible biological disaster still remains, and has increased in recent times because of the threat of bioterrorism. This paper suggests that a model that combines decision tree analysis with epidemiology is required to identify critical points in food chains that should be strengthened to reduce the risk of emergencies and prevent emergencies from becoming disasters.

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