The spatial distribution of sheep flocks in Great Britain with confirmed clinical scrapie between January 1993 and December 2002 inclusive was investigated by using kernel density estimation and a cluster scan test statistic. Six statistically significant clusters were identified: three were lower risk, and were centred on the north-western coast of Scotland, the north-western coast of Wales and the South Yorkshire/Pennine region; three were of higher risk, and were centred in the central south, North Yorkshire and north Cumbria. General knowledge and the results of previous epidemiological studies were used to generate biologically plausible hypotheses that might explain these findings. They included aspects of flock management and disease transmission, and factors associated with the identification of cases, including their detection, recognition and, in particular, reporting levels, as well as diagnosis and animal movements.
- British Veterinary Association. All rights reserved.
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