A Professional Diagnostic Service

What actually happened in 2001

A: In preparation for an epidemic

What actually happened

B: Development of up-to-date testing methods

What actually happened;

C: The preparation of virology policies and protocols for the management of the outbreak will be under the personal control of the lead virologist on the team

What actually happened.

D: Dr Paul Kitching (for example), as virologist responsible for the service, would not agree to anyone other than he or his laboratory staff should interpret the laboratory results.

It is poor practice to pass the results of tests to another outside the laboratory for interpretation.

What actually happened

Work once the outbreak has occurred

What actually happened

There has been a failure to learn from the 2001 UK epidemic.

There was a failure to apply what was quickly learnt and published by Dr Donaldson; the lack of aerosol spread of the epidemic strain, which rendered the 3km culling policy unnecessary.

A virologist would have planned to learn as much as possible. However, virologists were sidelined during the UK epidemic.

Without authority given to specially trained and dedicated virologists I can see no hope yet that should FMD recur in Britain we are ready to do any better.
Will we continue to make a hash of animal infectious disease?
This has an important implication for human health - just take bovine TB for example, caused by Mycobacterium bovis. This was unjustifiably neglected in the FMD epidemic. There has been a resurgence as untested cattle have been moved all over the country, even from the known residual hotspots, with the spread of TB to previously uninfected herds. What of the dedicated and highly trained veterinary microbiologists?