Modelling the spread of disease

Researchers at Southampton University have developed a computer model to simulate the transmission of infectious diseases.


Researchers at Southampton University have developed a computer model to simulate the transmission of infectious diseases between people.


Prof Yong Yang and his team at the School of Geography developed the computer software to model the spread of a hypothetical disease across the city of Eemnes, in the Netherlands.


‘Areas with large population densities increase the probability of intimate contact between people. Simulating the transmission of infectious disease transmission within urban areas is, thus, of great importance,’ said Prof Yang.


The model, known as the Individual Space-Tme Activity-based Model or ISTAM, recreated the population of Eemnes, their movements and the city’s layout to identify how their interactions spread the disease.


Faced with diseases such as bird flu, SARS, Foot and Mouth Disease and AIDS, such models for infectious disease transmission are becoming increasingly important tools to understand how diseases are spread and how they can be controlled.


Read more about the model here.