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Extract from

Royal Society Infectious Disease Inquiry Follow-Up review (pdf file)

From Page 3

d. Data collection

Some work remains to be carried out on the capture, transmission, storage, processing and use of background and disease dependent information {9.1} for management of the disease control process. The use of geographical information systems (GIS) will be important in clearly identifying infected premises during an outbreak.

Page 4

Data collection, availability and quality

R3.2 Defra should undertake a comprehensive review of the available information on FMD and develop a consistent and coherent database of the basic information that would be required during an outbreak. (p35)

R6.1 Defra should establish a review to determine the data required for informing policy both before and during epidemics of infectious diseases. This review should involve all those likely to be involved in disease control, including modelling teams, and cover:

  • information to be collected on a routine basis, and how this can be kept up to date;
  • information to be collected during an outbreak
  • incorporation of the data into a central database
  • use of modern techniques for real time data capture and verification. (p72)

    R6.4 Defra should ensure that the data from the 2001 epidemic are checked and then made widely available, while ensuring that any data protection issues are resolved. (p72)


    9.1 Significant work remains to be done in creating a database and an associated management information system of up-to-date information on FMD, farm locations and animal population that can be immediately available to officials at all levels and in an appropriate form in the event of an outbreak.

    9.2 The European Commission has introduced TRACES (Trade Control and Expert System), an IT system designed to improve the management of animal movements both from outside the EU and within the EU. TRACES is a single central database tracking the movement of animals and certain types of products both within the EU and from outside the EU. The system came online in April 2004 and will run in parallel with the old system (ANIMO) until December 2004.

    9.3 The contingency plan lists the information that has to be collected during an outbreak. The real time data capture details under Section 5 of the contingency plan (5.1 -5.4) make it a requirement for data capture as soon as practicably possible. It gives five outline data requirements under 5.4: animals slaughtered; performance against 24 hour slaughter target (if farm is an infected premise); animals disposed; disposal route and cleansing and disinfection - when primary cleansing and disinfection is complete. Under the section there is no requirement to collect vaccination data if and when emergency vaccination is deployed.

    9.4 During the 2001 epidemic, a number of mistakes were reported on the map references of infected premises. The use of modern GIS equipment as part of a real time data collection system should eliminate this problem.

    9.5 The incorporation of surveillance data into an on-line disease control database that can inform officials at all levels, and the development of a user friendly management information system should be considered.

    9.6 In June 2003 Defra released an online database of the statistical data from the 2001 outbreak aimed at the research community to allow researchers to explore the epidemiology of the 2001 Foot and Mouth outbreak. The future direction for the analysis of data will focus on the epidemiology and development of new models (see paragraphs 7.11 and 7.12).