Managing Infectious Animal Disease Systems
Posted: 19 Oct 2010
Date Written: October 2010
We review the bioeconomic and disease ecology literatures on managing the spread of infectious diseases among and between wild and domestic animals. Management recommendations derived from these two literatures are compared and shown to differ due to the way each treats human behaviors. Conventional disease ecology models treat human behaviors as external to the disease system, whereas bioeconomic analysis treats behavior as an internal component of a jointly determined human-disease ecology system. The complexities of animal disease systems, including multiple state variables and imperfect controls, are shown to influence the overall level of optimal disease control, the optimal allocation of controls across species and activities, and long-run outcomes. Eradication is not always optimal, nor may it be optimal to pursue a steady-state outcome. Human responses to disease risks in decentralized settings are also examined. Finally, we conclude with a discussion of future research avenues.
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