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Exercise Pegasus 2017

Report on an African Horse Sickness Simulation Exercise Conducted in 2017 and Involving Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden

image of Exercise Pegasus 2017

African horse sickness (AHS) is an acute insect-borne viral disease of horses and other equines causing depression, respiratory and circulatory impairment. The mortality rate may approach 100%. The disease is transmitted by midges. In 2007–2009 midges caused the spread of bluetongue in cattle and sheep in Northern Europe. The midges are also the main vector and transmitter of AHS and the disease may occur in horses in the Nordic Baltic region during summer or early autumn. Contingency plans covering AHS have been adopted by the Nordic Baltic countries. This report provides information on the preparatory work and the conduct of a simulation exercise. The aim of the exercise included testing of National AHS contingency plans and of the communication systems established between veterinary authorities in the Nordic and Baltic countries for animal disease emergencies.

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Pegasus 2017 exercise – preparation and implementation at a glance

The preparation and implementation of a simulation exercise involving several countries is a rather time consuming but important activity in contingency planning. Several types of simulation exercises are well defined by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (European Centre for Disease Control, 2014). The two main categories are (a) Discussion-based exercise and (b) Operation-based exercise. It was decided at an early stage (2015) to implement an operational-based exercise. During the preparatory work it was agreed that the exercise should be codenamed “Pegasus 2017” and that it should be an organized and controlled scenario-driven functional exercise. It should in general terms:

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