Predictive spatial dynamics and control of emerging infectious diseases

Les Real
Emory University

(April 11, 2006 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM)

Predictive spatial dynamics and control of emerging infectious diseases

Abstract

Rabies, the most important viral zoonotic disease world-wide, has been undergoing epidemic expansion along the eastern seaboard of the United States since the mid-1970s following an accidental introduction of rabid raccoons from a source of endemic infection in the southeastern US. Using data submitted from US States to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we have constructed stochastic simulations of the spatial dynamics of rabies as it has spread into new geographic region. The simulation was constructed as an interaction network with nodes of the network defined by township and county centroids. Interaction strengths along specific connections were sensitive to local geographic conditions and parameterized against reported data on the time and spatial location of detected rabid animals. The parameterized model has proven to be a valuable model for strategic planning for disease emergence and to direct the development of spatial control strategies.