Arizona State epidemiologist to explore dynamics of Mexico's H1N1 pandemic

February 21, 2010, Arizona State University

Influenza surveillance mechanisms in Mexico were adequate during the fast-spreading H1N1 outbreak in 2009, yet Mexico did not have the infrastructure to quickly identify the emergence of this novel strain, according to an Arizona State University (ASU) epidemiologist.

Carlos Castillo-Chavez, director of ASU's Mathematical, Computational and Modeling Sciences Center in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, will take a close look at factors impacting the influenza dynamics within Mexico during a presentation Feb. 21 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Castillo-Chavez's presentation, "Life in the Fast Lane: H1N1 Pandemic Dynamics in Mexico's Central Influenza Corridor," is part of a session of how mathematics is used for investigating biological hierarchies.

"Mexico public health officials took immediate and massive social-distancing measures during the initial outbreak that were effective, but only over a short-time scale," says Castillo-Chavez. "But the second wave hit Mexico and the rate of infections exceeded those over the months of April through June 2009. The combination of large movements of people in Mexico's central influenza corridor and past strict social-distancing measures seemed to have had a dramatic effect on the ongoing dynamics within Mexico. Fortunately, disease severity has not been as devastating as in past ."

In his analysis of Mexico's response to the H1N1 virus and the dynamics surrounding the , Castillo-Chavez will address a number of lingering questions, including whether social-distancing measures (no longer in effect) combined with summer school breaks not only slowed down the first wave but could have resulted in a less manageable second wave.

He also will break down what was learned from Mexico's experience to answer such questions as: Is the lack of advanced diagnostic facilities and uniform surveillance systems, common in poor nations, "good" for the rest of the world? What will be the impact of the limited access that the have-nots (individuals or nations) have to adequate supplies of antiviral drugs and the H1N1 vaccine on the dynamics of ? What are the optimal public health policies for non-wealthy nations?

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Ambitious global virome project could mark end of pandemic era

February 23, 2018
Rather than wait for viruses like Ebola, SARS and Zika to become outbreaks that force the world to react, a new global initiative seeks to proactively identify, prepare for and stop viral threats before they become pandemics.

Forecasting antibiotic resistance with a 'weather map' of local data

February 23, 2018
The resistance that infectious microbes have to antibiotics makes it difficult for physicians to confidently select the right drug to treat an infection. And that resistance is dynamic: It changes from year to year and varies ...

Scientists gain new insight on how antibodies interact with widespread respiratory virus

February 22, 2018
Scientists have found and characterized the activity of four antibodies produced by the human immune system that target an important protein found in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), according to new research published ...

Study reveals how kidney disease happens

February 22, 2018
Monash researchers have solved a mystery, revealing how certain immune cells work together to instigate autoimmune kidney disease.

Past encounters with the flu shape vaccine response

February 20, 2018
New research on why the influenza vaccine was only modestly effective in recent years shows that immune history with the flu influences a person's response to the vaccine.

Building better tiny kidneys to test drugs and help people avoid dialysis

February 16, 2018
A free online kidney atlas built by USC researchers empowers stem cell scientists everywhere to generate more human-like tiny kidneys for testing new drugs and creating renal replacement therapies.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.