Challenges

Challenges

GLEAM supports policy-making and emergency planning by developing epidemic models and scenario analysis able to gauge the actual threat of highly pathogenic diseases.

Contingency and emergency planning

In the event of epidemic outbreaks public health authorities can choose to activate prevention and emergency response policies such as vaccination, travel restrictions, or school and business closures. The socio-economic cost of such programs can be high and their impact on the epidemic hard to determine. GLEAM allows the modeling of containment and mitigation strategies providing quantitative projections that better informs the analysis of their likely impact.

Forecast

Epidemic forecasts need to consider directly transmissible infectious diseases within a social context. How many people live and work in a particular area and how much do they interact and travel? GLEAM uses real-world data covering the distribution of the world-wide population, their daily interactions and journeys, and the spatial structure and volumes of national and international air traffic. By combining these datasets with realistic models of infection dynamics, GLEAM can deliver forecasts for the spreading pattern of infectious diseases epidemics.

We have thoroughly tested and validated GLEAM against historical epidemic outbreaks including the 2002/03 SARS epidemic. In 2009 GLEAM has been used to produce real time forecast of the unfolding of the H1N1 pandemic.

Considering global health risks

In a globalized world we cannot ignore the international spread of disease. International travel will bring diseases in, and spread infections to far flung communities. Public health authorities can only prepare and plan if they know the full picture. GLEAM simulations considers this global perspective and include description capacities in countries or regions that do not have comprehensive disease monitoring programs or modeling capacities.

The GLEAM approach to global epidemic forecasting deliver models and data that can be used by policy makers to anticipate trends, evaluate risks and eventually manage future events.

GLEAM in Action
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