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Modeling Exotic Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Virus Entrance Risk Through Air Passenger Violations

Authors


Chin-Cheng Chou, School of Veterinary Medicine, National Taiwan University, No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei 106, Taiwan; tel: +886–2–33661292; fax: 886–2–23630495; chouchin@ntu.edu.tw.

Abstract

The highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) is able to survive in poultry products and could be carried into a country by air travelers. An assessment model was constructed to estimate the probability of the exotic viable HPAIV entering Taiwan from two neighboring areas through poultry products carried illegally by air passengers at Taiwan's main airports. The entrance risk was evaluated based on HPAIV-related factors (the prevalence and the incubation period of HPAIV; the manufacturing process of poultry products; and the distribution–storage–transportation factor event) and the passenger event. Distribution functions were adopted to simulate the probabilities of each HPAIV factor. The odds of passengers being intercepted with illegal poultry products were estimated by logistic regression. The Monte Carlo simulation established that the risk caused by HPAIV-related factors from area A was lower than area B, whereas the entrance risk by the passenger event from area A was similar to area B. Sensitivity analysis showed that the incubation period of HPAIV and the interception of passenger violations were major determinants. Although the result showed viable HPAIV was unlikely to enter Taiwan through meat illegally carried by air passengers, this low probability could be caused by incomplete animal disease data and modeling uncertainties. Considering the negative socioeconomic impacts of HPAIV outbreaks, strengthening airport quarantine measures is still necessary. This assessment provides a profile of HPAIV entrance risk through air travelers arriving from endemic areas and a feasible direction for quarantine and public health measures.

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