Outbreak science: Infectious disease research leads to outbreak predictions

Science Daily  January 8, 2020 An international team of researchers (Finland, USA – Georgetown University, Canada) used information from the Global Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology Network (GIDEON) data resource to develop a simple approach to accurately predict disease outbreaks by combining novel statistical techniques and a large dataset on pathogen biogeography (spatial distribution of pathogens across the globe). The approach takes pairwise dissimilarities between countries’ pathogen communities and pathogens’ geographical distributions and uses these to predict country–pathogen associations. They compare the success rates of their model for predicting pathogen outbreak, emergence and re-emergence potential as a function of time…read more. […]

New tool to predict the global spread of dengue

Science Daily  December 4, 2019 According to the World Health Organisation, around half the world’s population is at risk of contracting dengue. International travelers significantly contribute to dengue’s rapid and large-scale spread by importing the disease from endemic into non-endemic countries. Researchers in Australia consider international air travel volumes to construct weighted networks, representing passenger flows between airports. They calculate the probability of passengers being infected with dengue which depends on the destination, duration and timing of travel. The findings shed light onto dengue importation routes and reveal country-specific reporting rates that have been until now largely unknown. The research […]

Ebola Outbreak in Congo Has Just Been Declared an “Emergency of International Concern”

Science Alert  July 18, 2019 The last time the global health body declared an international emergency for Ebola was during the 2014-2016 outbreak in West Africa that killed more than 11,000 people. Ebola began spreading in Congo’s conflict-ridden North Kivu province last summer and has infected more than 2,500 and killed nearly 1,700, according to official Health Ministry figures. The decision was made by a committee of 10 scientists who had three times earlier declined to issue the declaration for the current outbreak. The WHO and other public health organizations have been tracing giant webs of people who have come […]

A New Layer of Medical Preparedness to Combat Emerging Infectious Disease

DARPA  February 19, 2019 DARPA has selected five teams of researchers to support PREventing EMerging Pathogenic Threats (PREEMPT), a 3.5-year program first announced in January 2018  to reinforce traditional medical preparedness by containing viral infectious diseases in animal reservoirs and insect vectors before they can threaten humans. The PREEMPT researchers will model how viruses might evolve within animal populations and assess the safety and efficacy of potential interventions. According to the World Health Organization approximately 60 percent of emerging infectious diseases reported globally are zoonoses…read more.