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July 05, 2006

Delaying the international spread of H5N1H5N1

Via Connotea, here is a new article in Public Library of Science Medicine: Delaying the International Spread of Pandemic Influenza. An excerpt from the abstract:

To evaluate the potential of local control measures and travel restrictions to impede global dissemination, we developed stochastic models of the international spread of influenza based on extensions of coupled epidemic transmission models. These models have been shown to be capable of accurately forecasting local and global spread of epidemic and pandemic influenza.

We show that under most scenarios restrictions on air travel are likely to be of surprisingly little value in delaying epidemics, unless almost all travel ceases very soon after epidemics are detected.

Interventions to reduce local transmission of influenza are likely to be more effective at reducing the rate of global spread and less vulnerable to implementation delays than air travel restrictions.

Nevertheless, under the most plausible scenarios, achievable delays are small compared with the time needed to accumulate substantial vaccine stocks.

Posted by dymaxion at July 5, 2006 02:07 PM

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