Supplementary video 1: Example of an uncontrolled outbreak of transmissible avian flu. Red represents areas with infected individuals, and green represents areas which have recovered from infection. [AVI format - 65Mb]
Supplementary video 2: Example of a controlled outbreak of transmissible avian flu. Red indicates areas of infection while blue indicates areas where a combination of control measures has been implemented. [AVI format - 17Mb]
A carefully chosen combination of public health measures, if implemented early, could stop the spread of an avian flu outbreak at its source, suggest two international teams of researchers in Nature (August 3) and Science (August 5). The researchers used computer modeling to simulate what might happen if avian flu were to start passing efficiently between people in Southeast Asia. They found that antiviral treatment is a critical component of any multi-pronged approach.
The computer simulations are part of the Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study (MIDAS) research network funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), a component of the National Institutes of Health. The overall goal is to develop computational models of disease spread that will aid the development of effective control strategies.
"These new models illustrate how the fundamental features of infectious disease spread can be captured to predict possible outcomes and the potential impact of interventions," said Jeremy M. Berg, Ph.D., director of NIGMS. "As these modeling approaches develop, they will offer policymakers and researchers powerful tools to use in strategic planning."
The H5N1 strain of the avian flu
Contact: Emily Carlson
NIH/National Institute of General Medical Sciences