Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Canadian researchers study mass gatherings and risks of infectious disease threats

25.02.2010
Real-time observation of disease threats could enhance planning and response for major events such as the Olympics

As the world watches the Vancouver Olympics, researchers at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto and Children's Hospital Boston have teamed up to monitor and assess potential infectious disease threats to Vancouver during the Winter Games by integrating two independently developed intelligence systems that focus on global infectious diseases; bio.DIASPORA and HealthMap.

The communicating systems, developed by two Canadians – Dr. Kamran Khan at St. Michael's and Dr. John Brownstein of the Informatics Program at Children's Hospital Boston – are now producing the first, real-time analyses on potential threats to mass gatherings. The collaboration, and corresponding analysis of threats to the Olympic Games, is described in an article published online by the Canadian Medical Association Journal today.

"Mass gatherings can potentially amplify and disperse infectious disease threats globally because they can draw millions of people from around the world into a single space," says Dr. Kamran Khan, an infectious disease physician and scientist at St. Michael's Hospital. "By enabling our two systems to communicate in real-time, we are exploring new ways to generate actionable intelligence to organizers of mass gatherings."

Dr. Khan is the developer of bio.DIASPORA, which enables the study of global air traffic patterns and applies this knowledge to help the world's cities and countries better prepare for and respond to emerging infectious diseases threats. Dr. Brownstein is a co-founder of HealthMap, an online global disease-tracking and mapping tool which leverages information sources on the Internet to detect infectious disease outbreaks around the world.

For the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, Dr. Khan analyzed recent worldwide air traffic patterns during the month of February, to predict where passengers travelling into Vancouver would be originating from. His team found that nearly two-thirds of all international passengers traveling to Vancouver came from just 25 cities. Dr. Brownstein's team then concentrated its infectious disease surveillance efforts on those cities, which it continues to do on an hourly basis during the course of the Winter Games (a real-time view of this analysis is available online at http://www.healthmap.org/olympics).

"Internet-based, geographically-directed infectious disease surveillance may greatly compliment traditional preparations for infectious disease threats at mass gatherings by identifying infectious disease at their source and potentially preventing importation/exportation of infection among attendees," explains Dr. Brownstein at Children's Hospital. "We look forward to continued research and dialogue in this area and seeing how the information we glean from monitoring these Games may be useful in terms of preparing for future mass gatherings like the upcoming G20 Summit in Ontario, Canada and this year's FIFA World Cup in South Africa."

About St. Michael's Hospital

St. Michael's Hospital provides compassionate care to all who walk through its doors. The Hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in more than 23 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, and care of the homeless are among the Hospital's recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research at St. Michael's Hospital is recognized and put into practice around the world. Founded in 1892, the Hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.

Julie Saccone | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.healthmap.org/olympics
http://www.smh.toronto.on.ca

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht One gene closer to regenerative therapy for muscular disorders
01.06.2017 | Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center

nachricht The gut microbiota plays a key role in treatment with classic diabetes medication
01.06.2017 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>