New model created to analyse epidemics

7 November 2014

Researchers have spent years trying to develop a model that shows how contagions spread to result in an epidemic, such as the recent ebola outbreak. Now, a new report details a method to analyse the loop linking individual human behaviour and that of the epidemic itself.

A team at the New York University Polytechnic School of Engineering has developed the first stages of a highly complex model, which was hailed as  “brilliant research” by the American Physical Society recently.

It is hoped the model will be able to accurately predict those who are most vulnerable to the disease, allowing them to be vaccinated before they become infected. The team also hope this will allow the right travel restrictions and isolation practices to be put in place to prevent it from developing.

The new model also accounts for the different rates at which people become infected. For example, previous work has shown that those who feel symptomatic will often self-isolate.

The paper was published in Physical Review E. 

Posted by Edward Bartel

 

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