Saturday, October 18, 2014

Ebola in the Air

A recent email from Susan demonstrates the how quickly an interconnected globe becomes personal. A student at my nieces school near Cleveland was on the plane with the infected Ebola nurse from Dallas.  Suddenly a infectious disease across the ocean is one degree from me (only if all the degrees aligned - contact of my niece with a student and then contact with me an my niece).

The simulation in the Washington Post article show the reason in black squares why this disease has people concerned:

Naturally, I couldn't resist researching the mathematics of disease.  The key variable is the basic reproductive ratio, $R_0$.  The rate of increase of the disease over a generation.  For measles this ratio is 12-18; for flu 2-6; for Ebola  -  the guess is 1.5 - 2. 

 So the good news is Ebola travels slowly -  unless you travel by air!


No comments:

Post a Comment