Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"Intensified Battle Against Foot and Mouth Appears to Pay Off," by MartinEnsenrink. Science, 20 April 2001, p. 410.

Ensenrink describes efforts of British epidemiologists in the recent outbreakof foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). In late March, mathematical models used bythree teams of researchers showed that actions being used to halt the diseaseweren't working---the number of cases of FMD was growing exponentially. Theresearchers used their models to convince the British government to take moredrastic steps to curb the disease. Ensenrink reports that the fact that theconclusions of models from different teams of epidemiologists were the samehelped persuade policy-makers to mount a more aggressive campaign against FMD.

--- Mike Breen