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Thursday, September 13, 2012
 

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Sun, May 19, 2024


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4:00pm
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5:00pm
  Spatial spread of the 1918 influenza pandemic: from data retrieval to application  
(Seminar/Conference)

Rosalind Eggo, University of Texas at Austin

In the influenza pandemic of 1918, a novel pathogen spread through a (likely) immunologically naive population, with few effective interventions against its advance. For the first time in history accurate records of its progress were documented, thus providing material for a greater understanding of pandemic spread, but finding the appropriate data for epidemiological analysis is critical. I describe our study, where we collate a new US dataset of mortality records that covers more cities and a greater time period than those analyzed before. We use these data, (and similar records from England and Wales,) to fit a spatial model describing the links between cities. A gravity model assumes that the strength of interaction between two cities is proportional to their population sizes. We further develop the structure of gravity models to incorporate the density of surrounding towns, and and the extent of the epidemic in those towns. Using the best fitting model from our analysis we infer the most likely transmission tree for the 1918 pandemic and describe how the characteristics of spread change as the epidemic progresses. I frame our results in the context of recent pandemic spread.
More information...


Location: 310 ICTAS
Price: Free
Sponsor: ICTAS
Contact: Shelley Johnson
E-Mail: shelleyj@vt.edu
540-231-1929
   
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