Title: Contact network based risk assessment to prevent potential pandemics

Authors: Shengpeng Jin; Suraj M. Alexander

Addresses: Department of Industrial Engineering, JB Speed School of Engineering, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40292, USA ' Department of Industrial Engineering, JB Speed School of Engineering, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40292, USA

Abstract: Early information is crucial for policy makers and public health officials responsible for protecting the public from the virulent spread of contagious diseases. Current indicators of the spread of contagious outbreaks lag behind the actual spread, leaving no time for a planned response. The studies of Christakis and Fowler (2010) have shown that social networks can provide more timely information for prediction. Our focus, however, is on the effective control of the spread of contagious outbreaks in their early stages. We do this by defining 'contact networks', and suggest an effective way to chart the spread of contagious outbreaks, in a spatio-temporal sense. In this paper, we use information from the 'central' individuals in contact networks for early 'spatio-temporal' prediction of virulent outbreaks; this would allow for actions that would mitigate the spread, including the effective allocation of resources, to nip potential pandemics in the bud.

Keywords: public health; pandemic prevention; disease spread; contact networks; spatiotemporal information; risk assessment; potential pandemics; contagious diseases; resource allocation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCENT.2014.065046

International Journal of Collaborative Enterprise, 2014 Vol.4 No.1/2, pp.53 - 68

Available online: 09 Oct 2014 *

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