An atmospheric dispersion model was used to predict the airborne spread and concentrations of foot-and-mouth disease virus within the plumes generated by 11 pyres built to burn infected carcases during the epidemic of 2001 in the UK. On the basis of assumptions about the quantity of virus emitted during the three hours after the pyres were built, and the threshold concentration of virus required to cause an infection in cattle, it was concluded that none of the disease breakdowns which occurred under the plumes was due to the spread of virus from the pyres.
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