Online Program

A model-based tool to predict the propagation of infectious disease via airports

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 11:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Grace Hwang, MS, PhD, Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC), MITRE Corporation, Baltimore, MD
Todd Wilson, MPH, Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Andre Berro, MPH, Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, San Francisco, CA
Epidemics of novel or re-emerging infectious diseases have quickly spread globally via air travel, as highlighted by pandemic H1N1 influenza in 2009 (pH1N1). Federal, state, and local public health responders must be able to plan for and respond to these events at aviation points of entry.

The emergence of a novel influenza virus and its spread to the United States were simulated for February 2009 from 55 international metropolitan areas using three basic reproduction numbers (R0): 1.53, 1.70, and 1.90. Empirical data from the pH1N1 virus was used to validate our Susceptible-exposed-infectious-recovered (SEIR) model.

Time to entry to the U.S. during the early stages of a prototypical novel communicable disease was predicted based on the aviation network patterns and the epidemiology of the disease. For example, approximately 96% of origins (R0 of 1.53) propagated a disease into the U.S. in under 75 days, 90% of these origins propagated a disease in under 50 days. An R0 of 1.53 reproduced the pH1NI observations.

The ability to anticipate the rate and location of disease introduction into the U.S. provides greater opportunity to plan responses based on the scenario as it is unfolding. This simulation tool can aid public health officials to assess risk and leverage resources efficiently.

Approved for public Release. Distribution Unlimited. Case # 13-2584. © 2013-The MITRE Corporation. All rights reserved.

Learning Areas:


Learning Objectives:
Describe how one can use a model to assess risk and leverage resources at airports across the United States.

Keyword(s): Simulation, Emerging Diseases

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the principle investigator for a 7-yr project in which I developed collaborations with airlines, national laboratories, and universities and profiled microbial background from >100 commercial aircraft HEPA filters. I also conducted disease-spread modeling and served as a panel member for two National Academies studies, one focusing on the role of air travel in the transmission of infectious and insect-borne diseases and the other on risk evaluation of disease at airports and on aircraft.
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.