Predicting Foot-and-Mouth Outcomes

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Science  26 Oct 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5543, pp. 741h
DOI: 10.1126/science.294.5543.741h

The current foot-and-mouth epidemic in the United Kingdom has devastated the livestock industry there and has had substantial consequences both for farming and other sectors of the economy. Keeling et al. (p. 813; see the 5 October news story by Enserink) modeled the dynamics of the epidemic using an individual farm-based spatial model to study its spread. The spatial detail of the epidemiological data is much finer than for most other diseases and allows the exploration of the dynamics of disease at much greater resolution than is normally possible with livestock diseases. This aspect of the model will permit improved prediction of the likely course of the epidemic under various scenarios of disease control.

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