252369 A model of the spread of cholera in Haiti and recommendations for control

Monday, October 31, 2011

Cayley Bowles , Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
Bryan Grenfell, PhD , Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
The cholera outbreak that began in Haiti on October 21, 2010 quickly propagated through the entire country causing a significant number of cases and deaths. The emergence of the disease poses a serious public health challenge because Haiti does not have the infrastructure or health facilities necessary to manage the epidemic. This paper utilizes a compartment based mathematical model to analyze the spread of cholera in Haiti. A model including both waterborne and person-to-person transmission produced an excellent fit to the data from the epidemic, indicating that both transmission routes contribute to the spread of the disease. The substantial role of person-to-person transmission in the epidemic allows for the possibility of control measures apart from the typical techniques used to combat waterborne pathogens. I suggest a public health campaign that distributes hand sanitizer and teaches proper hygiene in order to break the chain of transmission of cholera and prevent future cases.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate the ability of a mathematical model to determine the transmission routes of a disease Discuss the importance of person to person transmission in cholera epidemics and recommendations to control outbreaks

Keywords: International Public Health, Epidemiology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am studying disease ecology and epidemiology. I have the mathematical background necessary to create a model to analyze the data collected in Haiti.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.