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Surveillance Plan Template: Disease Control Areas / Zones

This is a view of the template showing the suggested content of the Disease Control Areas / Zones section of an Outbreak Surveillance Plan. Instructions are in green and should be deleted from the final draft.


Establishment of Area/Zone Quarantine, Movement Controls, and Response Areas

[Example of introductory comments]
Effective quarantine and movement controls are essential elements for preventing further spread of [insert disease agent]. Movement control, in the form of a permit system, allows otherwise uninvolved entities to make necessary movements to continue normal functions. Quarantine of susceptible animals, potentially contaminated products, conveyances (means of transport), etc., prevents the dissemination of [insert disease agent] and increases the speed and likelihood of successful eradication.

To establish effective quarantine and movement controls, it is assumed that they will be established as soon as possible after surveillance activities have identified an infected premises (and animals), but preferably within [insert number] hours, after the determination of a presumptive positive or confirmed positive case of [insert disease agent] has been made.  USDA will impose a Federal area quarantine on the Control Area to prevent movements of [insert disease agent]-susceptible livestock out of the Control Area.

Affected and adjoining States (or country, if State borders also share international borders with Canada or Mexico) will be requested to provide resources to enforce the quarantine. The Federal quarantine will be maintained until [insert disease agent] is eradicated. State quarantines on individual premises affected with [insert disease agent] will also be required within the Control Area to ensure that movements from those premises do not occur.

Tracing (ins and outs) and surveillance activities will play an important role in identifying the extent of infected and exposed premises (and animals) and the corresponding boundaries of the disease control zones that will be established in response to premises classification. These disease control zones, depicted conceptually in [insert Figure number], will consist of:

  • Control Area (further divided into an Infected Zone and a Buffer Zone)
  • Surveillance Zone (part of the Free Area)
  • Free Area

[Note: In real-world situations, it may make more sense to establish Area/Zone boundaries along geopolitical lines, natural geographical features (e.g. along rivers or mountain ranges), or some other criteria that would not result in concentric rings as shown above.]

[insert Figure number]Outbreak surveillance disease control Areas/Zones established to surveil for [insert disease agent]

Each disease control zone is discussed in greater detail below.

Control Area

[Example of introductory comments]
A Control Area, consisting of an Infected Zone(s) and a Buffer Zone, will be established to ensure the rapid and effective containment of [insert disease agent]. The size of the Control Area depends upon the FAD agent and circumstances of the outbreak. The Control Area may initially be as large as a county, township, district, regional area, State, Tribal nation, or other Jurisdictional Area.

The potential modes of transmission of the [insert disease agent] [(e.g., aerosol, direct contact, fomites)] will be considered in determining the initial geographic boundaries of the Control Area. Movement control, through the use of permits and risk assessments, will be maintained within the Control Area until [insert disease agent] is eradicated.

Infected Zone

Boundary

[Example narrative]
The size of the following boundary was established based upon factors that included the transmissibility (R0) of the disease agent in question, its long distance spread capabilities, susceptible hosts, current environmental condition such as wind speed and direction, and geographic features [insert other factors used to establish boundary, if any].

An Infected Zone will encompass the perimeter of all presumptive or confirmed positive premises (“infected premises”) and include as many “contact premises” as the situation requires logistically or epidemiologically. More than one Infected Zone may need to be established within the Control Area. The boundary of the Infected Zone initially will be at least [insert distance such as 3 km (1.86 miles)] beyond the perimeters of the presumptive or confirmed infected premises. The boundary of the Infected Zone can then be expanded or reduced or remain static as new information becomes available.

[insert Figure number] shows a map of the locations of the infected, contact, suspect, at-risk, and monitored premises in the Infected Zone as of the date of this written surveillance plan.  Although this map, for illustrative purposes, shows a circular Infected Zone around the premises, the Infected Zone is unlikely to be circular in shape.  The actual distance in any one direction will be determined by factors specific to the outbreak such as terrain, the pattern of livestock movements, livestock concentrations, weather, prevailing winds, the distribution and movements of susceptible wild and feral animals, processing options for livestock and products, and effect on non-risk commodities. Boundaries of the Infected Zone can be modified as more tracing and surveillance results become available and other factors become better defined.

Permitted activities

[Example narrative]
The following activities will be permitted:

  1. Susceptible animals from outside an Infected Zone will not move into or through an Infected Zone unless they are going to slaughter and the nearest facility is inside the Infected Zone. Livestock conveyances in-bound to the Infected Zone will be rerouted prior to reaching the Infected Zone. To ensure any product from an infected or exposed animal is properly disposed of, and any suspect product is detained, quarantine and movement controls will be imposed on such products.
  2. Activities in an Infected Zone will include conducting epidemiological investigations and enforcing movement restrictions. Epidemiological investigations will focus on identifying sources and destinations of animal and other movements (trace-ins and trace-outs) and determining the source(s) of [insert disease agent] infection (see “Tracing”). Enforcement of movement restrictions will include:
    • Preventing susceptible animals from leaving the Infected Zone, except if a monitored premises is moving animals, or if the susceptible animals are going directly to slaughter in an approved slaughter establishment located within the Control Area (i.e., the Buffer Zone); conditions upon which movement permit was issued must be met, including use of proper biosecurity.
    • Preventing products from susceptible animals from leaving the Infected Zone unless a risk assessment determines that such movement can be permitted, or if a monitored premises is moving product and the conditions upon which movement permit was issued are met, including use of proper biosecurity.
    • Preventing movement of vehicles, equipment, and non-susceptible animals out of the Infected Zone unless appropriate biosecurity procedures are followed.
    • Conducting a public awareness campaign to increase compliance with movement restrictions.

Holding period

[Example narrative]
The Infected Zone in the Control Area will be maintained, at minimum, for the period of time required to accomplish the following activities: (1) to detect all infected herds (and animals) in this Zone as outlined in the sampling plan of this initial outbreak surveillance plan, (2) to depopulate all infected premises as outlined in a forthcoming response plan, and, following depopulation, (3) to resample all premises to prove freedom of disease as outlined in a forthcoming surveillance plan specific to this activity. 

Buffer Zone

Boundary

[Example narrative]
The size of the following boundary was established based upon factors that included the transmissibility (R0) of the disease agent in question, its long distance spread capabilities, susceptible hosts, current environmental conditions, and geographic features [insert other factors used to establish boundary, if any].

The Buffer Zone immediately surrounds the Infected Zone or a Contact Premises. The Buffer Zone includes [insert distance such as 7 km (4.35 miles) around Infected Zone or other geographic reference such as entire State]. Adjustments to the borders can be made as more information from surveillance activities becomes available.

Permitted activities

[Example narrative]
The following activities will be permitted:

The primary surveillance activity in this zone will involve inspecting susceptible animals [insert frequency such as once, twice, etc.] over a [insert number]-days period (equivalent to [insert number] incubation period for [insert disease agent]). Other complementary surveillance activities will include slaughter surveillance, serological surveys, and investigation of reports of suspected [insert disease] in susceptible livestock species.

Holding period

[Example narrative]
The Buffer Zone in the Control Area will be maintained, at minimum, for the period of time required to accomplish the following activities: (1) to detect all infected herds (and animals) in this Zone as outlined in the sampling plan of this initial outbreak surveillance plan, (2) to depopulate all infected premises as outlined in a forthcoming response plan, and, following depopulation, (3) to resample all premises to prove freedom of disease as outlined in a forthcoming surveillance plan specific to this activity. 

Surveillance Zone

Boundary

[Example narrative]
The size of the following boundary was established based upon factors that included the transmissibility (R0) of the disease agent in question, its long distance spread capabilities, susceptible hosts, current environmental conditions, and geographic features [insert other factors if needed].

A Surveillance Zone will be established within, and along the border of, the Free Area, separating the remainder of the Free Area from the Buffer Zone of the Control Area. The minimum size of the Surveillance Zone will be [insert distance such as 10 km (6.2 miles)] beyond the boundary of the Control Area.

Adjustments to the size of the SZ can be made as more information from surveillance activities becomes available.

Permitted Activities

[Example narrative]
Primary surveillance activities in this Zone will focus on investigation of reports of [insert disease]-compatible illness (case finding) and sampling premises determined to be at the highest risk of infection. Complementary activities will also include slaughter surveillance and conducting a public awareness campaign to increase reporting of suspect cases.

Holding Period

[Example narrative]
The Surveillance Zone exists as long as the Control Area exists.

Free Area

Boundary

[Example narrative]
The Free Area (FA) surrounds the Control Area and includes the Surveillance Zone. For the purposes of this initial surveillance plan, it will extend throughout all other areas of the United States that are not part of the Control Area or Surveillance Zone.

Adjustments to the size of the FA can be made as more information from surveillance activities becomes available.

Permitted Activities

[Example narrative]
Within the Free Area, the primary activities will include:

  • Movement control of animals and animal products to prevent exposure to animals in Control Area
  • Targeted surveillance of susceptible livestock species to document freedom from [insert disease agent]

As a point of reference, a Free Area is an area in which the absence of [insert disease agent] has been demonstrated by meeting requirements for “surveillance to demonstrate freedom from disease/infection” as specified in Chapter 1.4, Article 1.4.6., of the OIE Terrestrial Animal Health Code. Freedom from infection implies the absence of the pathogenic agent in the country, zone or compartment. Although scientific methods cannot provide absolute certainty of the absence of infection, a surveillance system to demonstrate freedom from infection should still strive to provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate (to a level of confidence acceptable to OIE member countries) that infection with a specified pathogen is not present in a population.

In practice, it is not possible to prove (i.e., be 100% confident) that a population is free from infection (unless every member of the population is examined simultaneously with a test that possesses both diagnostic sensitivity and specificity equal to 100%, i.e., a perfect test). Instead, the aim is to provide adequate evidence (to an acceptable level of confidence), that infection, if it exists, is present in less than a specified proportion of the population. However, finding evidence of infection at any level in the target population automatically invalidates any claims of freedom from infection unless otherwise stated in the relevant disease Chapter.

Holding Period

[Example narrative]
The Free Area exists as long as the Control Area and Surveillance Zone exist.


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