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Cover Your Cough! Quantifying the Benefits of a Localized Healthy Behavior Intervention on Flu Epidemics in Washington DC

  • Nidhi Parikh
  • Mina Youssef
  • Samarth Swarup
  • Stephen Eubank
  • Youngyun Chungbaek
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8393)

Abstract

We use a synthetic population model of Washington DC, including residents and transients such as tourists and business travelers, to simulate epidemics of influenza-like illnesses. Assuming that the population is vaccinated at the compliance levels reported by the CDC, we show that additionally implementing a policy that encourages healthy behaviors (such as covering your cough and using hand sanitizers) at four major museum locations around the National Mall can lead to very significant reductions in the epidemic. These locations are chosen because there is a high level of mixing between residents and transients. We show that this localized healthy behavior intervention is approximately equivalent to a 46.14% increase in vaccination compliance levels.

Keywords

disease dynamics intervention strategies synthetic social network transient population 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nidhi Parikh
    • 1
  • Mina Youssef
    • 1
  • Samarth Swarup
    • 1
  • Stephen Eubank
    • 1
  • Youngyun Chungbaek
    • 1
  1. 1.Network Dynamics and Simulation Science Laboratory, Virginia Bioinformatics InstituteVirginia TechBlacksburgUSA

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