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Contagion calculation: Forecasting and tracking outbreaks of influenza

By Shane Huntington

Epidemiologist Assoc Prof Jodie McVernon discusses research into tracking and predicting the spread of influenza and other viral diseases like Ebola.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.


I'm Dr Shane Huntington. Thanks for joining us. Viruses have an extraordinary impact, not only on humans, but on the majority of the world's plant and animal species. Some viral infections go by almost unnoticed, while others can lead to serious illness or death. Arguably, the most well known virus is influenza. Most of us, at some stage in our lives, have been infected by a type of influenza. As viruses go, influenza is one of the smarter ones. It rarely kills its hosts. It spreads at high rates across the globe, and it's been difficult to contain.

On top of that there are numerous strains of influenza that are, for now, restricted to animals, but may yet pose a significant threat to humanity. On the positive side influenza is an excellent virus to use for modelling purposes. Its seasonal nature and global distribution enable us to better understand how viruses and other infectious diseases work and spread, potentially giving us new insights into how to control them.

Today on Up Close we are joined by an international expert on influenza and the modelling of emerging infectious diseases. Associate Professor Jodie McVernon is an epidemiologist in the Melbourne...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.