Infectious Disease: Evolving Challenges to Human Health
VACCINES & HUMAN IMMUNITY

USING MODELS TO EXPLORE VACCINATION IMPACT

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Can We Predict How an Epidemic Will Spread?

Computer programs can simulate epidemics by modeling the social interactions between sick and susceptible people in a community. The models consider when each person is contagious and the number of people whom they contact through work, school, shopping, entertainment, health care, and recreation.

Although the models reveal patterns of infection, they cannot predict exactly what will happen during a particular epidemic. Actual epidemics involve uncertainties including personal choices, unique characteristics of the pathogen, immunity amongst the population, and the rate at which the organism spreads. Even with these unknowns, models may help in planning public health responses to future epidemics.

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Vaccines
Can you control the spread of disease? See the affect of different vaccination levels on the spread of seasonal influenza and the measles.
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