Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Updates on Swine Flu Projections

Since my previous post about work being done at Indiana University by Alex Vespignani and co-workers I have received a communication from Bruno Goncalves, a member of Vespignani's research team. Bruno told me that the team is currently using their models to make short-term predictions of the Mexican swine flu epidemic.

The team's modeling system, known as GLEaM, which stands for "Global Epidemic and Mobility modeler" is described on their webpage in the following way:

"GLEaM considers a population of 6 billion individuals mapped on census cells of 15 × 15 minutes covering the entire Earth surface. It combines this detailed census data with long-range transportation by air and short-range mobility patterns (check the GLEaM in detail webpage for additional details). The GLEaM simulation engine can simulate the stochastic infection dynamics occurring in the population in a given place of the world and model its propagation at the worldwide scale, taking into account the mobility of infectious individuals."

Very current projections are now being made by the team for the spread of the Mexican swine flu into the United States. The team is only making projections for three weeks into the future, but is updating their website on a near-daily basis. Current projections are for 100-300 cases in each of several major metropolitan areas in the US. Please keep checking the GLEaM website for up-to-date projections as the situation is changing very rapidly.

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