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The Effects of Mass Transportation during a Deliberate Release of Smallpox

Since the attack on the world trade center, in New York City on September 11th, the possibility of bio-terrorist attacks on major cities has received continuous attention. The deliberate release of smallpox, a deadly virus, still available in selected U.S. and Russian laboratories, is a source of great concern. Ring vaccination is the current official response policy in the event of smallpox deliberate release. Edward H. Kaplan, David L. Craft and, Lawrence M. Wein argue that mass vaccination is a more viable solution that would optimize resource usage and minimize the mortality rate. In this paper, we model the dynamics of a deliberate release of smallpox in an idealized model of public transportation system of a major city. The city is divided into n neighborhoods and stratified by the proportion of individuals who use public transportation. Two levels of mixing are introduced via within neighborhood and between neighborhood activity level. Transmission between neighborhoods is driven by interactions in the mass transportation system under the assumption of proportionate mixing. We complement our theoretical work with an agent based model for two populations of individuals with different proportions of subway and non-subway users. We explore the impact of Kaplan, Craft and, Wein vaccination policy on the spread of epidemics on both models and our initial results seem to support their recommendations.

  • Poster session award recipient at the 2004 AMS/MAA Joint Mathematics Meeting in Phoenix, AZ
  • Poster session award recipient at the 2003 AMS/MAA Joint Mathematics Meeting in Baltimore, MD

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Emilia Huerta-Sánchez, Cornell University
Guarionex Jordan-Salivia, University of Iowa
Karen R. Rios-Soto, Cornell University
Juan Zhang, Xi'an Jiaotung University