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Foot and Mouth Disease 2007

On 3rd August 2007, the UK declared an FMD outbreak on a farm in Surrey. Several days later a neighbouring herd was found to be infected. Epidemiological analysis suggests that infection came from the accidental release of the virus from the Pirbright site only a few miles away. By early September it was thought that no further cases would be found and the UK was declared FMD free. However, on 12th September a third case was discovered and several more have since come to light. Full details of the outbreak and the Government's response to it are available on the Defra website.

In Scotland, August to October is normally a busy period for markets. As part of the Centre of Excellence in Epidemiology, Population Health and Infectious Disease Control (EPIC), we were asked in August by the Scottish Executive to assess the risk of reopening livestock markets over the coming months. We assessed risk in two steps: contact tracing of animal movements from farms in Surrey into Scotland, and daily calculation of the chance that there was still undetected infection in Scotland. The executive summary of our risk assessment of the first phase of this outbreak was published on the Scottish Executive website, along with the Scottish Chief Veterinary Officer's presentation to stakeholders and the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and the Environment on 23 August. Our final report is written and undergoing peer-review.

EPIC's contribution was mentioned in a Scottish Executive press release and in a Parliamentary Statement in the Scottish Parliament.

In September we have been performing contact tracings into Scotland with the purpose of directing veterinary inspections of at risk farms.

Document made with Nvu Created 26 August 2007. Updated 22 September 2007.