At the 2008 United States Animal Health Association annual meeting, Kimberly Forde-Folle, VS-APHIS-USDA, presented The North American Animal Disease Spread Model.

The North American Animal Disease Spread Model (NAADSM) is a stochastic, spatial, state-transition simulation model designed to simulate the spread and control of highly contagious diseases in a population of susceptible animals. The model can be used to prepare emergency responders for disease outbreaks, demonstrate to policy makers the potential scope and impact of an animal disease outbreak, compare disease control strategies, and estimate the resources needed in the event of an outbreak. User-established parameters define model behavior in terms of disease progression, disease spread by direct and indirect contact and airborne dissemination and the implementation of control measures such as movement restriction, mass depopulation, and vaccination.

Resources available to implement mass depopulation and vaccination programs, as well as the calculation of estimates for direct costs associated with the control strategies implemented, are taken into consideration. The model calculates detailed and summary statistics which can be used to reconstruct and analyze the simulated outbreaks. Geographical information can be used to produce maps, which can serve as visual aids to understand the distribution characteristics of a simulated outbreak.

Currently, the model is being used to evaluate outbreak scenarios and potential control strategies for several economically important highly contagious animal diseases in the United States, Canada, and elsewhere. The model has been developed by professionals from the USDA, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs, Colorado State University, and the University of Guelph and is freely available via the Internet at www.naadsm.org. The various applications of NAADSM for selected foreign animal diseases were presented.   

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