Minority Health Archive

Individual-based Computational Modeling of Smallpox Epidemic Control Strategies

Burke, Donald and Epstein, Joshua and Cummings, Derek and Parker, Jon and Cline, Kenneth and Singa, Ramesh and Charkravarty, Shubha (2006) Individual-based Computational Modeling of Smallpox Epidemic Control Strategies. Academic Emergency Medicine, 13 (11). pp. 1142-1149.

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In response to concerns about possible bioterrorism, the authors developed an individual-based (or ‘‘agent-based’’) computational model of smallpox epidemic transmission and control. The model explicitly represents an ‘‘artificial society’’ of individual human beings, each implemented as a distinct object, or data structure in a computer program. These agents interact locally with one another in code-represented social units such as homes, workplaces, schools, and hospitals. Over many iterations, these microinteractions generate large-scale macroscopic phenomena of fundamental interest such as the course of an epidemic in space and time. Model variables (incubation periods, clinical disease expression, contagiousness, and physical mobility) were assigned following realistic values agreed on by an advisory group of experts on smallpox. Eight response scenarios were evaluated at two epidemic scales, one being an introduction of ten smallpox cases into a 6,000-person town and the other an introduction of 500 smallpox cases into a 50,000-person town. The modeling exercise showed that contact tracing and vaccination of household, workplace, and school contacts, along with prompt reactive vaccination of hospital workers and isolation of diagnosed cases, could contain smallpox at both epidemic scales examined.

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Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is available at the publisher’s Web site. Access to the full text is subject to the publisher’s access restrictions.
Uncontrolled Keywords: bioterrorism computer simulation contact tracing mass vaccination models, theoretical smallpox vaccinia
Subjects: Health > Public Health
Teaching > Risk Management
Teaching > Instructional Tools & Models
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Depositing User: Jamie Bialor
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2010
Last Modified: 08 Jul 2011 10:15
Link to this item (URI): http://health-equity.lib.umd.edu/id/eprint/1295

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