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Proc Biol Sci. 2006 Oct 7;273(1600):2467-75.

Key strategies for reducing spread of avian influenza among commercial poultry holdings: lessons for transmission to humans.

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Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM) U707, 27 rue Chaligny, 75012 Paris, France.


Recent avian flu epidemics (A/H5N1) in Southeast Asia and case reports from around the world have led to fears of a human pandemic. Control of these outbreaks in birds would probably lead to reduced transmission of the avian virus to humans. This study presents a mathematical model based on stochastic farm-to-farm transmission that incorporates flock size and spatial contacts to evaluate the impact of control strategies. Fit to data from the recent epidemic in the Netherlands, we evaluate the efficacy of control strategies and forecast avian influenza dynamics. Our results identify high-risk areas of spread by mapping of the farm level reproductive number. Results suggest that an immediate depopulation of infected flocks following an accurate and quick diagnosis would have a greater impact than simply depopulating surrounding flocks. Understanding the relative importance of different control measures is essential for response planning.

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