Spatio-Temporal Characteristics of the Bluetongue Epizooty in the Balkan Peninsula from 2014 to February 2015

Open access

Abstract

Starting in May 2014 an emerging Bluetongue (BT) serotype 4 (BTV-4) epizooty has affected the ruminant population of eleven countries from the Balkan Peninsula. Consequently, the veterinary services implemented various bio-security measures and a considerable discussion has been raised if future BTV surveillance and preventive measures should be taken in risk based zones and periods. Therefore, the objective of this work was to describe the spatial and temporal characteristics of the BTV-4 epizooty in the Balkan Peninsula from May 2014 to February 2015. We used the space-time permutation model of the scan statistic to identify the space-time disease clusters. The scan statistic was parameterized to a maximum temporal length of 150 days (duration of the epizooty in the Balkans in 2014) and a radius of 100 km as a maximum spatial cluster size (protection zone for BT). Results were significant (p < 0.05) to the maximum spatial size defined for the clusters. From the 6295 BT outbreaks the scan statistics identified 33 disease clusters in nine Balkan countries. The highest number of outbreaks occurred from September to November 2014.The earliest cluster was detected in Greece in July 2014 with a radius of 56 km. The latest cluster was detected in Croatia in February 2015 with a radius of 99,8 km. These results are a first description of the spatial and temporal characteristics of the 2014-February 2015 BT epizooty in the Balkans.

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Macedonian Veterinary Review

The Journal of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine-Skopje at the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje

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