Evaluation of Public Health Containment Strategies for Control, Prevention and Surveillance of Infectious Diseases using an Individual Based Simulation Model
The objective of my research is to evaluate the public health containment strategies for control, prevention and surveillance of infectious diseases especially dealing with an influenza pandemic (e.g. swine flu pandemic) and also deal with other human to human transmissible infectious diseases using an Individual Based Simulation Model.
The research will examine the proposed public health intervention plans for any probable pandemic influenza through an individual based simulation model and provide the decisions and effectiveness of the proposed plans. In order to reduce the causalities and economic loss due to any future pandemic, which may be caused by novel strain of virus like H1N1, H5N1, biological warfare agents etc. epidemiologists and public health planners are trying to identify, define and propose different intervention strategies. However, it is not ethical to experimentally evaluate the effectiveness of those proposed interventions in real environment. Also, epidemics do not occur often enough to make experiments reproducible. Beside this, epidemiologists deal with epidemic data that are often sparse, widely distributed and limited. Therefore, individual based epidemic models are one of the methodologies that are used to evaluate the public health containment strategies, which are proposed for the control, prevention and surveillance of infectious diseases. Those models have been extensively used to help the public health officials and epidemiologist to determine the potential impact of intervention strategies.
Therefore, research goal of this project will be to deal with the uncertain characteristics of epidemics. With different estimations of epidemiological uncertainties we will evaluate the public health containment strategies for control, prevention and surveillance of infectious diseases especially dealing with an influenza epidemic and also deal with other human to human transmissible infectious diseases.
There are continuous threats of communicable diseases in living species and these diseases cause huge causalities and economic cost. In past decade there were several influenza pandemics. There is also potential threat of bird flu epidemic. Recently influenza H1N1 2009 swine flu spreads all over the world causing a novel pandemic. The public health authorities implement different intervention strategies to contain the disease in its early stage. However it is really very difficult to ensure the effectiveness of such interventions during the period of pandemic. Due to lack of scientific evidence, computer modelling and simulation are used to provide the way of evaluation of those intervention policies. Therefore the findings from this research project will be beneficial for the public health officials, epidemiologists, health practitioners as well as computer and mathematical modeller who wish to model dynamics of infectious diseases and evaluate the corresponding intervention strategies.