What would a majestic measles epidemic look like?
A group of pediatricians in Texas have asked researchers at the University of Pittsburgh to present a model showing what might happen to a municipality if the vaccination rates fall by 10 percent.
The researchers have already developed an agent-based modeling system called Framework for Reconstructing Epidemiological Dynamics (FRED), which shows worst cases of county or metropolitan metering scenarios. This model is based on projections.
The Texas model uses real numbers, where simulations drill down to show infection risks at the individual school level.
Click through the gallery above to see simulations of a real-time outbreak of measles in Houston.
"About six months ago, the Texas branch of the American College of Pediatricians contacted us," said Dr. Mark Roberts, director of the Public Health Dynamics Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh, told Chron.com.
"They asked if we could do the simulation with actual data."
Roberts said his team also used data from the US Department of Education, which provided schools with location and size and from the US Department of Commerce, which provided employment information.
While the model shows the increased number of measles cases likely to occur, it does not include the effect of any public health intervention following an outbreak process, such as mass vaccination programs or increased isolation rates.
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"In the simulators, households wake up and then the kids go to school and the adults go to work," roberts said. "They go home from school to work and back and forth over and over again."
The projections allow you to see while a measles outbreak spreads among schoolchildren and adult workers, Roberts said.
But simulation is still very accurate, Roberts said.
"You can argue that it's not accurate, but it's pretty close," Roberts said.
In addition, researchers created two graphs that showed that the population was divided into two categories. 19659016] The first group consists of supporters, including those for whom the vaccination failed (3% of the population does not receive immunity after vaccination) and those who are not eligible for vaccination due to medical conditions.
The second group called the rejection includes those who refuse to be vaccinated.
If you choose not to vaccinate your child, it affects everyone else, including those who are not unprotected by their choice, Roberts notes.
This shows the importance of a high vaccine rate to protect society, according to FRED researchers.
Strongly contagious, Measles has come back as a threat to public health after being extensively eradicated in 2000, according to the Houston Chronicle. Harris County ranks the ninth most vulnerable to getting clusters of people contract measles, the Houston Chronicle reported.
To view simulations for Texas and other states, visit the Framework for Reconstructing Epidemiological Dynamics website.
] Marcy de Luna is a digital reporter. You can follow her on Twitter @ MarcydeLuna and Facebook @MarcydeLuna. Read his stories on our news site, Chron.com, and on our subscriber site, HoustonChronicle.com. | Marcy.deLuna@chron.com | Text CHRON to 77453 to receive breaking news alerts via SMS