Findings Could Aid Treatment Planning and Prevention Strategies
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health studying dengue hemorrhagic fever epidemics in Thailand have determined that the disease radiates outward in a traveling wave from Bangkok, the nation’s largest city, to infect every province in the country. According to the researchers’ analysis, the spatial-temporal wave travels at a speed of 148 kilometers per month and takes about eight months to spread through the entire country. The analysis appears in the January 22, 2004, edition of the journal Nature.
“We used a new mathematical technique developed by NASA for analysis of waves in physical materials – like water waves and sound waves – to study “epidemic waves” of dengue cases. Our study is the first step to understanding the mechanism of how a disease like dengue spreads through the country,” said lead author Derek Cummings, a PhD candidate at the Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public of Health and Whiting School of Engineering. “Anticipating dengue epidemics and determining the causes of those epidemics could help us plan control strategies more effectively.”
Tim Parsons | JHU
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