Assessing the consequences of an incursion of a vector-borne disease. II. Spread of bluetongue in Scotland and impact of vaccination

Bluetongue is a viral disease of ruminants transmitted by Culicoides biting midges, which has spread across Europe over the past decade. The disease arrived in south-east England in 2007, raising the possibility that it could pose a risk to the valuable Scottish livestock industry. As part of an assessment of the economic consequences of a bluetongue virus incursion into Scotland commissioned by Scottish Government, we investigated a defined set of feasible incursion scenarios under different vaccination strategies. Our epidemiological simulations, based on expert knowledge, highlighted that infection will rarely spread in Scotland after the initial incursion and will be efficiently controlled by vaccination.

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