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1.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 1857, 2022 02 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1671608

ABSTRACT

Amid COVID-19, many institutions deployed vast resources to test their members regularly for safe reopening. This self-focused approach, however, not only overlooks surrounding communities but also remains blind to community transmission that could breach the institution. To test the relative merits of a more altruistic strategy, we built an epidemiological model that assesses the differential impact on case counts when institutions instead allocate a proportion of their tests to members' close contacts in the larger community. We found that testing outside the institution benefits the institution in all plausible circumstances, with the optimal proportion of tests to use externally landing at 45% under baseline model parameters. Our results were robust to local prevalence, secondary attack rate, testing capacity, and contact reporting level, yielding a range of optimal community testing proportions from 18 to 58%. The model performed best under the assumption that community contacts are known to the institution; however, it still demonstrated a significant benefit even without complete knowledge of the contact network.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/transmission , Contact Tracing/methods , Female , Humans , Male , Prevalence , Public Health
2.
Viruses ; 13(8)2021 08 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1376992

ABSTRACT

While investigating a signal of adaptive evolution in humans at the gene LARGE, we encountered an intriguing finding by Dr. Stefan Kunz that the gene plays a critical role in Lassa virus binding and entry. This led us to pursue field work to test our hypothesis that natural selection acting on LARGE-detected in the Yoruba population of Nigeria-conferred resistance to Lassa Fever in some West African populations. As we delved further, we conjectured that the "emerging" nature of recently discovered diseases like Lassa fever is related to a newfound capacity for detection, rather than a novel viral presence, and that humans have in fact been exposed to the viruses that cause such diseases for much longer than previously suspected. Dr. Stefan Kunz's critical efforts not only laid the groundwork for this discovery, but also inspired and catalyzed a series of events that birthed Sentinel, an ambitious and large-scale pandemic prevention effort in West Africa. Sentinel aims to detect and characterize deadly pathogens before they spread across the globe, through implementation of its three fundamental pillars: Detect, Connect, and Empower. More specifically, Sentinel is designed to detect known and novel infections rapidly, connect and share information in real time to identify emerging threats, and empower the public health community to improve pandemic preparedness and response anywhere in the world. We are proud to dedicate this work to Stefan Kunz, and eagerly invite new collaborators, experts, and others to join us in our efforts.


Subject(s)
Disaster Planning , Lassa Fever/epidemiology , Lassa virus/physiology , Africa, Western/epidemiology , Disaster Planning/methods , Humans , Lassa Fever/genetics , Lassa Fever/prevention & control , Lassa Fever/virology , Lassa virus/genetics , N-Acetylglucosaminyltransferases/genetics , N-Acetylglucosaminyltransferases/immunology , Nigeria/epidemiology , Pandemics , Polymorphism, Genetic , Receptors, Virus/genetics , Receptors, Virus/immunology
3.
Cell ; 182(6): 1366-1371, 2020 09 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-739789

ABSTRACT

Operation Outbreak (OO) is a Bluetooth-based simulation platform that teaches students how pathogens spread and the impact of interventions, thereby facilitating the safe reopening of schools. OO also generates data to inform epidemiological models and prevent future outbreaks. Before SARS-CoV-2 was reported, we repeatedly simulated a virus with similar features, correctly predicting many human behaviors later observed during the pandemic.


Subject(s)
Computer Simulation , Computer-Assisted Instruction/methods , Contact Tracing/methods , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Epidemiology/education , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Basic Reproduction Number , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Coronavirus Infections/transmission , Humans , Mobile Applications , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/transmission , Smartphone
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