DRAFT REPORT OPEN SESSION of the RESEARCH GROUP OF THE STANDING TECHNICAL COMMITTEEof the European Commission for the Control of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (EUFMD)
17-19th October 2006
Item 2 -Contingency planning and simulation exercises
- The EU requires member countries to have contingency plans against FMD and to carry out simulation exercises of outbreaks of FMD
- Mathematical models are very useful tools for simulating outbreaks and contributing to the process of policy formulation and decision making.
- Simulation exercises vary a lot between countries in terms of their scope and purpose
- The results of simulation exercises are not always easily available
- The outcome of mathematical models was very are sensitive to between farm contact rates. Models in general therefore require accurate data and assumption on mechanisms of spread in order to produce reliable outputs.
- Mathematical modelling must be carried out as a multi-disciplinary process involving modellers, field epidemiologists, virologists etc
- Mathematical models should not be used to produce policy directly but as a part of the process of policy formulation and decision support
- Mathematical modelling is most appropriately developed and validated in between outbreaks rather than in an emergency situation.
- An expert group on FMD simulation exercises should be established which should produce a standard for the core components that national simulation exercises should contain and a standard format for reporting the results and outputs of such exercises
- The reports of simulation exercises should be made available on an EU website
- Where possible, simulation exercises should include national emergency planners and representatives from neighbouring administrations
- Data on between farm contact rates, differentiating between direct, indirect and airborne routes are required
- The availability of weather data and a model to estimate viral spread should be included in contingency plans. It may be helped by establishing an international database of such resources
- Mathematical models should include realistic resource constraints
- Models can be used to help policy makers estimate the required size of vaccine banks and their distribution and allocation in the face of different outbreak scenarios
- Systems for establishing collaboration between mathematical modellers, field operations and virologists should be established
- Discrepancies between models should be addressed by establishing a consensus on simulation models and their parameterisation in order to improve simulation banks of possible disease spread within and between European countries for different outbreak scenarios. The QUADS process forms a good starting point for how this might be done.
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