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Math/Stat Moments

The Math on Ebola

ebola

It's all over the news at levels that range from cautious optimism to zombie apocalypse -- Ebola in America!  Yes, it's only Texas and yes, it has been contained... we think, but what's the truth?  Let's see what mathematics says about the situation.

According to Dr. Lauren Ancel Meyers, professor of integrative biology at UT-Austin, and a pioneer of mathematical modeling of infectious diseases, "There doesn't seem to be a real threat of large epidemic in the United States".  What does she base this on?... the math.

The average number of secondary infections caused by each case gives a measure for projecting the growth of outbreaks assuming no intervention.  This, in turn, can be used to gauge the extent of intervention necessary.  Ebola's number is around 2 which is slightly higher than the flu but far less than measles (which is higher than 10).

So, breathe easy... just not in this direction.

For information on Ebola, check the World Health Organization's fact sheet.

For information on mathematical modeling of infectious diseases, click here or, check with one of our own, Prof. Steve Pankavich who is currently working on a venture with the Center for Cell and Virus Theory.

For more of this article, click here

Spotlight on AMS

Welcome to Aaron Porter

Join us in welcoming Professor Aaron Porter as Assistant Professor in Applied Mathematics & Statistics.  Aaron joins us from a postdoctoral fellowship position in the University of Missouri Department of Statistics.  His interests have primarily focused on research that is spatial and spatio-temporal in nature.  His emphases are on geostatistical and lattice data, with applications to infectious disease modeling, small area estimation, big data and environmental data.  In his spare time Aaron enjoys running and the arts, particularly drawing and making things with his hands.

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