Re-assessing the likelihood of airborne spread of foot-and-mouth disease at the start of the 1967-1968 UK foot-and-mouth disease epidemic

J. Gloster, A. Freshwater, R.F. Sellers, Søren Alexandersen

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    The likelihood of airborne spread of foot-and-mouth disease at the start of the 1967-1968 epidemic is re-assessed in the light of current understanding of airborne disease spread. The findings strongly confirm those made at the time that airborne virus was the most likely cause of the rapid early development of the disease out to 60 km from the source. This conclusion is reached following a detailed epidemiological, meteorological and modelling study using original records and current modelling techniques. The role played by 'lee waves' as the mechanism for the spread is investigated. It is thought that they played little part in influencing the development of the epidemic. A number of lessons learned from the work are drawn, identifying the need for further research on the quantity and characteristics I of airborne virus. The results are also used to illustrate what advice would have been available to disease controllers if the outbreak had occurred in 2004.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEpidemiology and Infection
    Volume133
    Issue number5
    Pages (from-to)767-783
    ISSN0950-2688
    Publication statusPublished - 2005

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