Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Ebola Math

PostedOctober 5, 2014

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Anchor Lead: A new mathematical model can assess the growth rate of an Ebola outbreak as it happens.

Randy Atkins: The model was quite accurate at predicting new Ebola cases in Africa last month. One of its developers, Carlos Castillo-Chavez, a mathematical biologist at Arizona State University, notes the recently-diagnosed patient in Dallas had contact with up to one-hundred people.

Carlos Castillo-Chavez: The possibility of infecting a few of them is not trivial, but if the response is swift and strong, the temporal changes of growth that we are seeing in Africa will not take place here.

Randy Atkins: Castillo-Chavez says a focus here should be on re-engineering emergency room waiting procedures and that all countries should work together on ways…

Carlos Castillo-Chavez: …that allow us to detect when problems of this type emerge and, number two, we need to have a prepared rapid response health force that we can send…

Randy Atkins: …to cut case numbers early. With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.