Rachel Baker

Rachel Baker
Princeton University | PU

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35
Publications
4,541
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1,140
Citations

Publications

Publications (35)
Article
Simulations show that rising global temperatures and changes in land use will drive new encounters between mammalian species. This could lead to an increase in virus- sharing events that might threaten both wildlife and humans. Estimates of viral spillover between mammalian species by 2070.
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When a novel pathogen emerges there may be opportunities to eliminate transmission - locally or globally - whilst case numbers are low. However, the effort required to push a disease to elimination may come at a vast cost at a time when uncertainty is high. Models currently inform policy discussions on this question, but there are a number of open...
Article
The twenty-first century has witnessed a wave of severe infectious disease outbreaks, not least the COVID-19 pandemic, which has had a devastating impact on lives and livelihoods around the globe. The 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus outbreak, the 2009 swine flu pandemic, the 2012 Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus outbr...
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Stockpiling and control A triumph that has emerged from the catastrophe of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 pandemic has been the rapid development of several potent vaccines. However, 18 months into the pandemic and more than 6 months after vaccine approval, wealthy countries remain the major beneficiaries. Wagner et al . model...
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The future of SARS-CoV-2, including the possibility of elimination and eradication, remains uncertain, but much hinges on characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 immunity. The next few months to a year is a critical period for understanding these characteristics.
Preprint
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Vaccines provide powerful tools to mitigate the enormous public health and economic costs that the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic continues to exert globally, yet vaccine distribution remains unequal between countries. To examine the potential epidemiological and evolutionary impacts of 'vaccine nationalism', we extend previous models to include simpl...
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One dose or two? For two-dose vaccines against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, some jurisdictions have decided to delay the second dose to rapidly get the vaccine into more people. The consequences of deviating from manufacturer-prescribed dosing regimens are unknown but will depend on the strength of immune responses to the vaccin...
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A surprising feature of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic to date is the low burdens reported in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) countries relative to other global regions. Potential explanations (for example, warmer environments¹, younger populations2,3,4) have yet to be framed within a comprehensive analysis. We synthesized factors hypothesized to drive the pace...
Preprint
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Seasonal influenza causes a substantial public health burden, as well as being a key substrate for pandemic emergence. Future climatic and demographic changes may alter both the magnitude, frequency and timing of influenza epidemics and the prospects for pathogen evolution, however, these issues have not been addressed systematically. Here, we use...
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High susceptibility has limited the role of climate in the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic to date. However, understanding a possible future effect of climate, as susceptibility declines and the northern-hemisphere winter approaches, is an important open question. Here we use an epidemiological model, constrained by observations, to assess the sensitivity of f...
Preprint
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As the threat of Covid-19 continues and in the face of vaccine dose shortages and logistical challenges, various deployment strategies are being proposed to increase population immunity levels. How timing of delivery of the second dose affects infection burden but also prospects for the evolution of viral immune escape are critical questions. Both...
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Purpose of Review Vaccine-preventable diseases remain a major public health concern globally. Climate is a key driver of the dynamics of many infectious diseases, including those that are vaccine preventable. Understanding the impact of climate change on vaccine-preventable diseases is, thus, an important public health research priority. Here, we s...
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Significance Nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs), such as social distancing, reduce not only COVID-19 cases but also other circulating infections such as influenza and RSV. The susceptible population for these infections will increase while NPIs are in place. Using models fit to historic cases of RSV and influenza, we project large future outbre...
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Despite improvements to global economic conditions, child undernourishment has increased in recent years, with approximately 7.5% of children suffering from wasting. Climate change is expected to worsen food insecurity and increase potential threats to nutrition, particularly in low-income and lower-middle income countries where the majority of und...
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A minimalist model of ecohydrologic dynamics is coupled to the well-known susceptible–infected–recovered epidemiological model to explore hydro-climatic controls on infection dynamics and extreme outbreaks. The resulting HYSIR model reveals the existence of a noise-induced bifurcation producing oscillations in infection dynamics. Linearization of t...
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Imperfect future immunity Humans are infected by several seasonal and cross-reacting coronaviruses. None provokes fully protective immunity, and repeat infections are the norm. Vaccines tend to be less efficient than natural infections at provoking immunity, and there are risks of adverse cross-reactions. Saad-Roy et al. used a series of simple mod...
Preprint
Full-text available
High susceptibility has limited the role of the climate in the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic to date. However, understanding a possible future effect of climate, as susceptibility declines and the northern-hemisphere winter approaches, is an important open question. Here we use an epidemiological model, constrained by observations, to assess the sensitivity...
Preprint
Dengue fever impacts populations across the tropics. Dengue is caused by a mosquito transmitted flavivirus and its burden is projected to increase under future climate and development scenarios. The transmission process of dengue virus is strongly moderated by hydro-climatic conditions that impact the vector's life cycle and behavior. Here, we stud...
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p>A surprising feature of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic to date is the low burdens reported in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) countries relative to other global regions. Potential explanations (e.g., warmer environments1, younger populations2-4) have yet to be framed within a comprehensive analysis accounting for factors that may offset the effects of climate...
Preprint
Full-text available
A surprising feature of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic to date is the low burdens reported in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) countries relative to other global regions. Potential explanations (e.g., warmer environments [1], younger populations [2,3,4]) have yet to be framed within a comprehensive analysis accounting for factors that may offset the effects of cl...
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Full-text available
Uncertainty in the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 may have implications for future outbreaks. We use simple epidemiological models to explore estimates for the magnitude and timing of future Covid-19 cases given different impacts of the adaptive immune response to SARS-CoV-2 as well as its interaction with vaccines and nonpharmaceutical intervention...
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The majority of mosquito-borne illness is spread by a few mosquito species that have evolved to specialize in biting humans, yet the precise causes of this behavioral shift are poorly understood. We address this gap in the arboviral vector Aedes aegypti. We first collect and characterize the behavior of mosquitoes from 27 sites scattered across the...
Preprint
Full-text available
Non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) have been employed to reduce the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, yet these measures are already having similar effects on other directly-transmitted, endemic diseases. Disruptions to the seasonal transmission patterns of these diseases may have consequences for the timing and severity of future outbreaks. Here we...
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The largest ever Sri Lankan dengue outbreak of 2017 provides an opportunity for investigating the relative contributions of climatological, epidemiological and sociological drivers on the epidemic patterns of this clinically important vector-borne disease. To do so, we develop a climatologically driven disease transmission framework for dengue viru...
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CORONAVIRUS In some quarters, it is hoped that increased humidity and higher temperatures over the Northern Hemisphere in the summer will snuff out the 2020 severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic. In reality, the situation is likely to be more complicated than that. Baker et al. used a climate-dependent epidemic model...
Preprint
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Preliminary evidence suggests that climate may modulate the transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Yet it remains unclear whether seasonal and geographic variations in climate can substantially alter the pandemic trajectory, given high susceptibility is a core driver. Here, we use a climate-dependent epidemic model to simulate the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic probing...
Preprint
Full-text available
The majority of mosquito-borne illness is spread by a few mosquito species that have evolved to specialize in biting humans, yet the precise causes of this behavioral shift are poorly understood. We address this gap in the arboviral vector Aedes aegypti . We first characterize the behaviour of mosquitoes from 27 sites scattered across the species'...
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Full-text available
A key question for infectious disease dynamics is the impact of the climate on future burden. Here, we evaluate the climate drivers of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), an important determinant of disease in young children. We combine a dataset of county-level observations from the US with state-level observations from Mexico, spanning much of the...
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Full-text available
Characterizing how climate change will alter the burden of infectious diseases has clear public health implications. Despite our uniquely detailed understanding of the transmission process for directly transmitted immunizing infections, the impact of climate variables on these infections remains understudied. Here, we develop a novel approach that...

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Project (1)
Project
We seek to identify links between present and future climate and infectious disease transmission.