Epidemiology expert creates modeling framework to better predict outbreaks

November 2, 2017, Georgia State University
Credit: Georgia State University

A mathematical epidemiology expert at Georgia State University School of Public Health has published a new framework for building mathematical models to better predict the trajectory of infectious disease outbreaks.

The framework, which uses time series data, is described and illustrated in the article "Fitting dynamic models to epidemic outbreaks with quantified uncertainty: A primer for parameter uncertainty, identifiability, and forecasts," published in Infectious Disease Modelling. The study's author is Dr. Gerardo Chowell, professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at Georgia State.

As epidemic threats increase, the community will rely more on mathematical models that can guide prevention and reaction strategies, Dr. Chowell said.

"As the recent 2013 – 2016 Ebola epidemic exemplified, an often forces to make key decisions to mitigate the outbreak in a changing environment where multiple factors positively or negatively impact local disease transmission," he said.

The framework presented by Dr. Chowell also seeks to account for areas of uncertainty so that public health officials can better estimate disease transmission parameters, assess the impact of control interventions—such as vaccination campaigns—and evaluate how behavior changes affect transmission.

Explore further: Study uses social media, internet to forecast disease outbreaks

More information: Gerardo Chowell. Fitting dynamic models to epidemic outbreaks with quantified uncertainty: A primer for parameter uncertainty, identifiability, and forecasts, Infectious Disease Modelling (2017). DOI: 10.1016/j.idm.2017.08.001

Related Stories

Study uses social media, internet to forecast disease outbreaks

January 19, 2017
When epidemiological data are scarce, social media and Internet reports can be reliable tools for forecasting infectious disease outbreaks, according to a study led by an expert in the School of Public Health at Georgia State ...

Ebola paper demonstrates disease transmission rate

September 11, 2014
New research from Arizona State University and the University of Tokyo that analyzes transmission rates of Ebola in West African countries shows how rapidly the disease is spreading.

Ebola: Lives to be saved with new management approach

May 15, 2017
Ebola outbreaks are set to be managed quickly and efficiently - saving lives - with a new approach developed by an international team of researchers, including the University of Warwick, which helps to streamline outbreak ...

Sexual transmission of Ebola likely to impact course of outbreaks

June 7, 2016
Sexual transmission of the Ebola virus could have a major impact on the dynamics of the disease, potentially reigniting an outbreak that has been contained by public health interventions, according to research by University ...

Computer model developed to assess risk of a Zika epidemic in real-time

May 3, 2017
A new model for assessing real-time risk of a Zika virus epidemic in the United States is described in research published in the open access journal BMC Infectious Diseases. The computer simulation, based on data from Texas ...

Faulty modeling studies led to overstated predictions of Ebola outbreak

March 31, 2015
Frequently used approaches to understanding and forecasting emerging epidemics—including the West African Ebola outbreak—can lead to big errors that mask their own presence, according to a University of Michigan ecologist ...

Recommended for you

Tibetan sheep highly susceptible to human plague, originates from marmots

August 16, 2018
In the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, one of the region's highest risk areas for human plague, Himalayan marmots are the primary carriers of the infectious bacterium Y. pestis. Y. pestis infection can be transmitted to humans and ...

Autoimmunity plays role in development of COPD, study finds

August 16, 2018
Autoimmunity plays a role in the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a study led by Georgia State University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center that analyzed human genome information ...

Reliable point-of-care blood test can help prevent toxoplasmosis

August 16, 2018
A recent study, performed in Chicago and Rabat, Morocco, found that a novel finger-prick test for infection with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii during pregnancy—and many other potential applications—is 100 percent sensitive ...

Scientists identify nearly 200 potential tuberculosis drug targets

August 16, 2018
Tuberculosis is one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide. Nearly 2 million people die every year from this infectious disease, and an estimated 2 billion people are chronically infected. The only vaccine, developed almost ...

First mouse model to mimic lung disease could speed discovery of more effective treatments

August 16, 2018
The biggest hurdle to finding effective therapies for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) – a life-threatening condition in which the lungs become scarred and breathing is increasingly difficult – has been the inability ...

Anticancer drug offers potential alternative to transplant for patients with liver failure

August 15, 2018
Patients suffering sudden liver failure could in the future benefit from a new treatment that could reduce the need for transplants, research published today shows.

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.