Navigation Links
Mathematics might save you a trip to the ER

BOSTON Since the days of Hippocrates, people have known that certain illnesses come and go with the seasons. More recently, researchers have learned that these cyclic recurrences of disease, known as seasonality, are often related to the weather. In order to accurately predict when outbreaks of disease will occur, and how many people will be effected, Elena Naumova, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Public Heath and Family Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, and colleagues, are studying seasonality by creating mathematical models based on environmental factors like outdoor temperature.

Until recently, public health workers and epidemiologists have eyeballed outbreak cycles relative to the weather in order to estimate when the next outbreak will strike a population, explains Naumova. But having a more accurate and reliable method of disease surveillance is crucial to forecasting outbreaks in order to implement warning systems, says Naumova. She and colleagues have developed mathematical models that will more accurately assess seasonality in an effort to better predict when an outbreak will peak and how many people may fall ill.

Naumova and colleagues tested their mathematical models with data gathered from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health on six diseases: giardiasis, cryptosporidiosis, salmonellosis, campylobacteriosis, shigellosis and hepatitis A, all characterized by nausea, diarrhea, abdominal cramping and often fever. Whereas many previous epidemiological studies investigating seasonality have used monthly data or quarterly data, Naumova and colleagues used daily data, enabling the researchers to detect more subtle changes in disease patterns that may have been previously overlooked.

With more than 1,000 cases of salmonellosis alone each year in Massachusetts, awareness of these subtle changes is crucial because if the public can be alerted to an outbreak even a few days earlier, it would save time, healthcare costs, and most importantly, may save many people a trip to the hospital, says Naumova.

Using ten years of data (1992-2001), researchers analyzed the timing, duration and magnitude of each of these enteric, or intestinal, diseases and compared these values to the corresponding average daily outdoor temperature in Massachusetts. Both salmonellosis and cryptosporidiosis peaked at the end of July; the hottest time of year in Massachusetts. However, giardiasis, shigellosis and cryptosporidiosis outbreaks spiked one month after the temperature peak. There was no observable trend for hepatitis A.

Several factors may explain the one-month delay of giardiasis, shigellosis and cryptosporidiosis, explains Naumova, including different routes of transmission of each pathogen, greater spread of a disease due to close person-to-person contact, and different symptoms among patients. More than likely it is a combination of factors. Naumova also notes that this second peak in disease may be linked to recreational water use. By August in Massachusetts, recreational water sources are at their warmest, having been heated all summer long. This higher water temperature, combined with close person-to-person contact, may be the reason for the second peak of outbreaks observed with these three pathogens.

Disease surveillance and alert systems are crucial to preventing the spread of disease. At both the global and community level, public health officials are working with epidemiologists to develop standardized alert and response systems at the first signs of an outbreak, says Naumova. It is our hope that this mathematical model, based on daily data, will contribute a degree of accuracy in the field of outbreak forecasting and disease surveillance.


Contact: Siobhan Gallagher
Tufts University, Health Sciences

Related medicine news :

1. Boys Suffer More Mathematics Learning Disorder Than Girls
2. Mathematics And Beauty? You Bet!
4. Anemia Treatment for Cancer Patients Might Not be a Good Idea.
5. Cabbage, cauliflower might contribute to cancer prevention
6. Suicide might be inherited
7. Cleanliness might lead to Asthma
8. Stroke risk might be linked to antibody
9. Change in walking might indicate Dementia
10. Drug might prevent Prostate Cancer Spread
11. Diet might just have an Effect on Breast Cancer
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... An unlikely combination of ... a way for homeless people to have a more dignified and comfortable night’s ... whereby they are repurposing plastic bags into sleeping mats for the homeless. ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... Complex (TSC), as well as raising public awareness of the disorder while helping ... a third donation of $35,000 to bolster progress at the Tuberous Sclerosis Complex ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Mateo, CA (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... in prizes were awarded to winners of the Create Real Impact awards. California ... creative expression to help stem the tide of distracted and reckless driving, the number ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... Their Care Plan software creates an agreement between the practice owner and ... including financial, scheduling, monitoring, notification, and projections. Click here to ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Norcross, GA (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... pleased to now offer laser services to many of his patients. Dr. Afferica now ... was designed to reduce the amount of time the doctor uses other traditional cutting ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nueva York , 24 de noviembre de ... del Avery Breathing Pacemaker System, se complace anunciar ... Ph.D. como consultor clínico. ... Foto -   ... Jonzon es un fisiólogo y consultor en neonatología ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 --> --> ... Market by Product Type (Bone Graft, Bine Graft Substitute, Platelet ... Posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion), End User, and Geography - Global ... valued at $1.90 Billion in 2014 and is expected to ... during the forecast period of 2015 to 2020. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... FRAMINGHAM, Mass. , Nov. 24, 2015   ... leading innovator of less-invasive, miniaturized circulatory support technologies that ... announced that President and Chief Executive Officer Doug ... Jaffray 27 th Annual Healthcare Conference on December ... being held December 1-2 in New York ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: