November 16, 2004

"I Got It from Agnes" (This Week at the Complex Systems Colloquium)

Attention conservation notice: This is an attempt to increase the attendance at this semester's complex systems colloquia by blogging about them in advance. Of minimal relevance if you're not in Ann Arbor or don't care about complex systems, epidemiology, or not dying of horrible infectious diseases.

Every schoolchild knows this bit from Prof. Dr. T. Lehrer's epidemiological primer ---

I got it from Agnes,
She got it from Jim.
We all agree it must have been
Louise who gave it to him.

She got it from Harry,
Who got it from Marie,
And everybody knows that Marie
Got it from me.

--- everybody knows it, but can you actually do anything with it? Why, yes, and this week Prof. Dr. Lauren Ancel Meyers shows us how.
Contact network epidemiology: New methods for predicting and controlling infectious diseases
Abstract: With the growing threats of bioterrorism and newly emerging diseases like SARS, avian influenza, and simian foamy virus, strategies to rapidly and effectively control outbreaks are vital to public health. The heterogeneous spread of SARS worldwide poignantly demonstrated that containment is possible, but depends critically on appropriate and aggressive management. I will describe a new quantitative approach to understanding disease dynamics in the early stages of an epidemic. The methodology -- contact network epidemiology -- allows us to predict the fate of an infectious disease outbreak and the impact of public health intervention based on explicit models of the heterogeneous interactions that underlie disease transmission within a community. I will compare this approach to more conventional epidemiological methods, and demonstrate its utility for designing control strategies against Mycoplasma pneumonia, influenza and SARS outbreaks.

Lauren will be speaking at 4pm, Thursday, November 18, in room 335 West Hall, Central Campus. Please bring your own mask.

Complexity; Biology; Networks

Posted at November 16, 2004 08:28 | permanent link

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