Disease mitigation measures in the control of pandemic influenza

University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Biosecurity and Bioterrorism (Impact Factor: 1.94). 02/2006; 4(4):366-75. DOI: 10.1089/bsp.2006.4.366
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The threat of an influenza pandemic has alarmed countries around the globe and given rise to an intense interest in disease mitigation measures. This article reviews what is known about the effectiveness and practical feasibility of a range of actions that might be taken in attempts to lessen the number of cases and deaths resulting from an influenza pandemic. The article also discusses potential adverse second- and third-order effects of mitigation actions that decision makers must take into account. Finally, the article summarizes the authors' judgments of the likely effectiveness and likely adverse consequences of the range of disease mitigation measures and suggests priorities and practical actions to be taken.

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    ABSTRACT: Epidemics of infectious diseases are among the largest threats to the quality of life and the economic and social well-being of developing countries. The arsenal of measures against such epidemics is well-established, but costly and insufficient to mitigate their impact. In this paper, we argue that mobile technology adds a powerful weapon to this arsenal, because (a) mobile devices endow us with the unprecedented ability to measure and model the detailed behavioral patterns of the affected population, and (b) they enable the delivery of personalized behavioral recommendations to individuals in real time. We combine these two ideas and propose several strategies to generate such recommendations from mobility patterns. The goal of each strategy is a large reduction in infections, with a small impact on the normal course of daily life. We evaluate these strategies over the Orange D4D dataset and show the benefit of mobile micro-measures, even if only a fraction of the population participates. These preliminary results demonstrate the potential of mobile technology to complement other measures like vaccination and quarantines against disease epidemics.
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