Evaluating the effectiveness of the response to equine influenza in the Australian outbreak and the potential role of early vaccination



Objective  To use modelling and epidemiological analyses to assess the effectiveness of control strategies employed during the equine influenza outbreak and determine if early vaccination might have had a beneficial effect.

Methods  Transmission of infection was modelled using stochastic, spatial simulation, based on data from 16 regions in New South Wales and Queensland over the first month of the outbreak.

Results  The model accurately represented the spread of infection in both space and time and showed that vaccination strategies would have reduced new infections by ∼60% and reduced the size of the infected area by 8–9%, compared to the non-vaccination baseline.

Conclusion  When used in conjunction with biosecurity measures and movement controls, early vaccination could play an important role in the containment and eradication of equine influenza.