• Airborne dispersion of Q fever : A modelling attempt with the OPS-model

      Sauter FJ; van Pul A; Swart A; ter Schegget R; Hackert V; van der Hoek W; EPI; cib (Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu RIVMMunicipal Health Service 'Brabant Zuidoost'Eindhoventhe NetherlandsPublic Health Service South LimburgHeerlenthe Netherlands and Maastricht University Medical CenterMaastrichtthe Netherlands, 2012-04-02)
      The OPS ("Operational Priority Substances ") computer model simulates the dispersion of pollutants in the air. It also appears to be suitable for modelling the transmission of Q fever bacteria from farm animals to humans. This is the major finding of a study carried out by the RIVM within the context of RIVM's Strategic Research project (SOR). The study results demonstrate that the model was well able to describe the transmission of Q fever bacteria on two infected goat farms. Uncertainties remain, such as the amount of bacteria released during an outbreak. More data are needed before the model can be routinely used to simulate the transmission of zoonoses through the air (aerosol) on infected farms. Infected goat farms are considered to be the source of the Q fever epidemic in the Netherlands between 2007 and 2010. However, the factors which cause Q fever bacteria to be transmitted from farm animals to humans and how the contaminated particles disperse through the air still remain largely undetermined. A suitable model provides policy-makers with model results that can be used as the basis for policy advice on the placement and distribution of farms.