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Preventing a pandemic: Study suggests strategies for containing a flu outbreak

nd quarantine could contain strains with a reproductive number around 2.4. A value of 2.4 is relatively contagious, though some other viruses such as measles are substantially higher. In all cases, early intervention would be essential.

The authors note in their study that the current World Health Organization stockpile of antivirals for avian flu could probably be sufficient to help contain a pandemic in a population like the one in the model, if the stockpile were deployed within two to three weeks of detection.

As part of their study, the researchers consulted with Thai ministry of health officials and concluded that public health workers may decide that TAP, rather than GTAP, is the more realistic strategy, given their resources.

This research effort is part of a network called MIDAS (Models for Infectious Disease Agents Study), supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. A related paper from another group of MIDAS researchers is being published simultaneously in the journal Nature.


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Source:American Association for the Advancement of Science


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