Title : Spatial transmission of 2009 pandemic influenza in the US
Speaker: Julia Gog, Forder Lecturer
Affiliation: University of Cambridge
Time: 4:00 pm Thursday, 28 April, 2016
Location: PLT2/303-G02
Detailed medical insurance claims data from the US in 2009 allow us to explore the spatial dynamics of a pandemic in greater depth than ever before. This talk will outline what we observed in terms of spatial and temporal dynamics of the pandemic in the US. Modelling work allows us to test hypothesis on the importance of different factors such as whether schools were in session, climate and city population size, to see which were important in determining the dynamics of disease spread. Here I will also show results from ongoing studies with collaborators and some of the challenges. We have very fine-grained spatial data, and clearly we would like to us this but disaggregating too far leaves us with little signal. With fitted models and a bit of mathematical creativity, we can infer likely transmission routes during the pandemic and hypothesize what the phylogeography (spatial distribution of viral variants) might look like. Finally, looking at different age groups separately reveal a little more about why the pandemic wave was so slow.

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