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Effectiveness of early detection in disease epidemics

Research Achievements

Effectiveness of early detection in disease epidemics

Disease control measures are much more effective when applied early in an outbreak; however theoretical work in epidemiology has largely ignored early detection. Fellows in our 4th cohort - Jake Ferguson, Vincent Cannataro, Jessica Langebrake, Elizabeth Hamman, and Andres Garcia - developed a theoretical model to compare the effectiveness of various forms of sampling for early detection of multihost disease epidemics. Students presented preliminary findings as a poster at the Emerging Pathogens Institute's Research Day on February 14, 2013. Using a multihost SIS model, they assessed optimal sampling design by maximizing the expected number of infected individuals per sample. Preliminary results indicated that sampling effectiveness depends on a threshold in the progression of the spreading epidemic. Before the threshold has been reached, it was best to concentrate on either host or vector; after the threshold, sampling should extend to both host and vector.