Tuesday April 23, 2019

Maths Could Help Understand The Spread of Infectious Diseases

Fear of public pathogens may end up driving the wrong type of behaviour if the public's information is incorrect.

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Maths can help reveal how human behaviour spreads infectious diseases
Maths can help reveal how human behaviour spreads infectious diseases. Flickr

Researchers have found that maths could help public health workers understand how human behaviour influences the spread of infectious diseases like Ebola and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

Current models used to predict the emergence and evolution of pathogens within host populations did not include social behaviour.

But adding dynamic social interactions to the new model could allow scientists to better prevent undesirable outcomes, such as more dangerous mutant strains from evolving and spreading.

“We tend to treat disease systems in isolation from social systems, and we often don’t think about how they connect to each other or influence each other,” said Chris Bauch, Professor at Waterloo University in Canada.

Injection and medicines
he team used computer simulations to analyse how the mathematical model behaved under various possible scenarios. Pixabay

“This gives us a better appreciation of how social reactions to infectious diseases can influence which strains become prominent in the population,” Bauch added.

In the study, published in the Journal of Theoretical Biology, the team used computer simulations to analyse how the mathematical model behaved under various possible scenarios.

They observed that human behaviour often changes dramatically during the outbreak, for instance, they might start using face masks.

Also Read: Cholera Infection May be on Edge in Yemen, Says WHO

Also, fear of public pathogens may end up driving the wrong type of behaviour if the public’s information is incorrect.

The new modelling could help public responses navigate and better channel these kinds of population responses, the researchers said. (IANS)

Next Story

Beware! If You Work In Shifts, You Are At A Greater Risk Of Heart Diseases

Companies could also consider providing health check-ups to detect early signs of heart problems, Weihong said.

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The study was not designed to prove the cause and effect, but the data showed shift workers were 13 per cent more likely to develop coronary heart disease than daytime workers. Pixabay

People who work in shifts are at heightened danger of heart disease and the risk increases with years they work in shifts, finds a Chinese study of more than 300,000 people.

Shift work “can earn more profit, but it can also cause harm to the health of employees. Thus, employers should reduce shift work as much as possible,” lead author Weihong Chen, a researcher in occupational and environmental health at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, was quoted as saying to the Health Day.

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For every year spent working in shifts, there was a nearly one per cent increase in the risk of coronary heart disease, the report said. Pixabay

While the reason is unknown, disruption in the normal sleep-wake cycle could increase stress. In the study, published in the journal Occupational Medicine, the team analysed data from 21 earlier studies involving over 320,000 people and nearly 20,000 cases of coronary heart disease.

The study was not designed to prove the cause and effect, but the data showed shift workers were 13 per cent more likely to develop coronary heart disease than daytime workers.

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Companies could also consider providing health check-ups to detect early signs of heart problems, Weihong said. Pixabay

For every year spent working in shifts, there was a nearly one per cent increase in the risk of coronary heart disease, the report said.

Also Read: Interesting Study! Something That Reminds Us Of Coffee Can Alert Our Minds
According to Weihong, employers should pay attention to staff members who are experiencing symptoms of heart problems as well as those with a family history of heart disease. Employers could provide health promotion, such as information on how to prevent and deal with ischemic heart disease, she said.

Companies could also consider providing health check-ups to detect early signs of heart problems, Weihong said. (IANS)