The time available to implement successful control measures against epidemics was estimated. Critical response time (CRT), defined as the time interval within which the number of epidemic cases remains stationary (so that interventions implemented within CRT may be the most effective or least costly), was assessed during the early epidemic phase, when the number of cases grows linearly over time. The CRT was calculated from data of the 2001 foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) epidemic that occurred in Uruguay. Significant regional CRT differences (ranging from 1.4 to 2.7 days) were observed
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