TY - JOUR T1 - Risk Maps for the Spread of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Poultry A1 - Boender, Gert Jan A1 - Hagenaars, Thomas J A1 - Bouma, Annemarie A1 - Nodelijk, Gonnie A1 - Elbers, Armin R. W A1 - de Jong, Mart C. M A1 - van Boven, Michiel Y1 - 2007/04/20 N2 -
Modern approaches in the epidemiology of infectious diseases include the use of mechanistic mathematical models to analyze and predict the dynamics of disease transmission. Modelling work during the massive epidemic of foot-and-mouth-disease in 2001 in Great Britain has provided an important example of how such analyses can be performed whilst an epidemic unfolds, predicting the effectiveness of intervention efforts and thus helping to inform policymaking. In this article, we use the example of highly pathogenic avian influenza in poultry to set out a computational approach yielding risk maps for the spread of highly transmissible livestock diseases. In these risk maps, geographic areas are identified in which a given intervention strategy fails to control the spread of the disease between farms. Using the epidemiological data of a large avian influenza epidemic in The Netherlands in 2003, this approach yields an estimate of the distance-dependent transmission probability. From this transmission probability, the transmission potential is calculated for all farms in The Netherlands, leading to the identification of two high-risk areas, defined as clusters of farms with transmission potential exceeding unity. The risk map concept is an instrument suitable for analyses of epidemic control options both during crisis and in peacetime.