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New tool better estimates pandemic threats
Date:3/5/2013

r 2005 to December 2011 and Nipah virus in Malaysia and Bangladesh, as well as to a non-zoonotic pathogen Vibrio cholerae in the Dominican Republic. This study demonstrates the applicability of this novel approach to estimating the reproduction number R (or the number of individuals infected by a case), during zoonotic and certain non-zoonotic outbreaks.

The technique for estimating R described in this paper is simple and robust and does not require as much investigative effort as existing methods, say the authors. However, a key limitation of this new approach is that it is designed to estimate R during subcritical outbreaks. If it is not a subcritical outbreak, other methods are needed to estimate R.

Dr. Lyn Finelli, Surveillance and Outbreak Response Team (Influenza Division, CDC) and co-author on the paper said: "Outbreaks of the H3N2v-M virus largely took place at livestock exhibitions with thousands of visitors every day. It is very hard to perform detailed outbreak investigations and effectively trace cases in such settings since visitors are widely dispersed. The approach presented in the paper, is simple, requires few data, and was very useful in assessing transmissibility of the virus from the data available."


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Contact: Sumrina Yousufzai
syousufzai@plos.org
415-568-3164
Public Library of Science
Source:Eurekalert

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