John Drake, assistant professor in the UGA Institute of Ecology, has created a mathematical model that takes into account how factors such as the speed at which information is gathered about a disease and how quickly that information is disseminated to the public affect the final size of an outbreak.
The model, published in the journal PloS (Public Library of Science) One finds that in the 2003 SARS outbreak in Singapore, doubling the rate at which infected people removed themselves from the larger population by quarantining themselves or seeking treatment would have cut the total number of infected people from 238 to 116. If infected individuals had removed themselves at half the actual rate, the number of cases would have ballooned to nearly 800.
“Infectious diseases are like weeds,” Drake said. “They grow multiplicatively – two infected people, four infected, eight and so forth. So that means you have exponential returns in your ability to control the outbreak the earlier you catch it.”
Drake said that with modifications to account for differences in factors such as transmission rate, the model can be applied to other emerging infectious diseases such as avian influenza.
He said that part of what makes the model so useful is its simplicity. Rather than relying on a complicated computer model that takes into account tens or even hundreds of variables, Drake’s model has the potential to estimate outbreak size based on four variables: the transmission rate, infectious period, the removal rate and the rate at which the public health response begins to produce diminishing returns.
Drake points out that during the Singapore outbreak, there was little evidence that the public health response began to produce diminishing returns. He said this finding suggests that although an aggressive public health response is costly, a sluggish one is far worse.
“An outbreak is very sensitive to how hard you hit it at the very beginning,” Drake said. “The important thing is to gain ground as quickly as possible.”
Sam Fahmy | EurekAlert!
WAKE-UP provides new treatment option for stroke patients | International study led by UKE
17.05.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
First form of therapy for childhood dementia CLN2 developed
25.04.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.
Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...
A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.
Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
18.05.2018 | Information Technology
18.05.2018 | Information Technology