Virtual city used to study flu pandemic

May 09, 2006

A 15-year-old New Mexico high school sophomore says she's discovered closing schools would be the best way to halt a bird flu pandemic.

Laura Glass of Albuquerque, N.M., is one of nearly 1,500 students taking part in this week's Intel International Science and Engineering Fair being held in Indianapolis. The students compete for $1.5 million in scholarships and prizes based on their work.

Glass created a virtual town of 10,000 people to simulate a bird flu pandemic, the Albuquerque Journal reported. She then computed how many people each person came into close contact with daily.

She found most teenagers came into close contact with about 140 people daily, the most of any group, with middle and high school students having the greatest potential of spreading the disease.

In her simulation, adults bring the disease into the community and infect their children. "From there," she told the Journal, "it spreads like crazy once it gets (into) ... the schools."

In one simulation in her virtual city of 10,000 people, about half the population became infected. But Glass found closing schools reduced that number to 500.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Young girl's story may lead Idaho to approve marijuana oil

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Beyond human: Exploring transhumanism

Nov 25, 2014

What do pacemakers, prosthetic limbs, Iron Man and flu vaccines all have in common? They are examples of an old idea that's been gaining in significance in the last several decades: transhumanism. The word ...

3D proteins -- Getting the big picture

May 10, 2011

How do you get to know a protein? How about from the inside out? If you ask chemistry professor James Hinton, "It's really important that students be able to touch, feel, see ... embrace--if you like, these ...

NIH study models H1N1 flu spread

Sep 21, 2010

As the United States prepares for the upcoming flu season, a group of researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health continues to model how H1N1 may spread.

Probing Question: What is citizen journalism?

Oct 23, 2009

The last time you watched CNN or read The New York Times online, you might have been surprised to see reporting by ordinary people. From photos uploaded instantly of the earthquake in Indonesia to video of ...

Japan explores using cell phones to stop pandemics

Jun 07, 2009

(AP) -- A few months from now, a highly contagious disease will spread through a Japanese elementary school. The epidemic will start with several unwitting children, who will infect others as they attend ...

Recommended for you

Young girl's story may lead Idaho to approve marijuana oil

9 hours ago

(AP)—Ten-year-old Alexis Carey has a rare but intractable form of epilepsy, Dravet Syndrome. The genetic diseases causes severe and multiple seizures, which often leave parents guessing if the terror of watching their child ...

Psychology of food choice: Challenging the status quo

16 hours ago

Researchers are challenging conventional beliefs about the effectiveness of traditional strategies for encouraging healthy eating. The symposium, "Challenging Misconceptions About the Psychology of Food Choice," includes ...

Image-guided treatment shown to break the migraine cycle

16 hours ago

An innovative interventional radiology treatment has been found to offer chronic migraine sufferers sustained relief of their headaches, according to research being presented at the Society of Interventional Radiology's Annual ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.