Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Joint study sheds new light on the cause of pandemic influenza

25.07.2013
With the use of sophisticated mathematical modelling techniques, a mathematician at PolyU and his co-researchers have completed a study that explains the phenomenon of multiple waves of influenza pandemic in the last century.

With the use of sophisticated mathematical modelling techniques, a mathematician at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and his co-researchers have completed a study that explains the phenomenon of multiple waves of influenza pandemic in the last century.

Taking part in this advanced study is Dr Daihai He, Assistant Professor of PolyU's Department of Applied Mathematics. He has collaborated with four researchers in Canada to offer an explanation to the worst influenza pandemic in the history of mankind.

The research team found that behavioural response has the largest impact among three primary factors causing the waves, thus paving the way for future enhancement on control strategies to the spread of influenza virus.

The 1918 flu epidemic was one of the world's deadliest natural disasters, causing the death of hundred thousands of people. Influenza pandemic appears to be characterized by multiple waves of incidence in one year, but the mechanism that explains this phenomenon has so far been elusive.

In explaining the deadly pandemic, Dr Daihai He and his teammates have incorporated in their mathematical model three contributing factors for multiple waves of influenza pandemic in England and Wales: (i) schools opening and closing, (ii) temperature changes during the outbreak, and (iii) changes in human behaviour in response to the outbreak.

Dr He and the researchers further applied this model to the reported influenza mortality during the 1918 pandemic in 334 British administrative units and estimate the epidemiological parameters. They have used information criteria to evaluate how well these three factors explain the observed patterns of mortality. The results indicate that all three factors are important, but behavioural responses had the largest effect.

The findings have recently been published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society Biological Sciences (July 2013 Issue). Dr He's expertise in advanced mathematics and statistics has helped improve our understanding of the spread of influenza virus at the population level and lead to improved strategies to control and minimize the spread of influenza virus.

Press contact: Dr Daihai He
Department of Applied Mathematics
Tel: (852) 2766 7864
Email: daihai.he@polyu.edu.hk

Associated links
http://www.polyu.edu.hk/cpa/polyu/index.php?press_section=&press_category=All&press
_date=&mode=pressrelease&Itemid=223&option
=com_content&press_id=2570&lang=en

Regina Yu | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.polyu.edu.hk

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>