Pandemic, how prediction science comes to help us

Pandemic, how prediction science comes to help us

It is November 2011 when Alessandro Vespignaniwho is now director of the Northeastern Network Science Institute in Boston, writes the story “real epidemic“. Ivan the Terrible It is the hypothetical nickname for the virus of pig origin that the physicist imagined, and it belongs to the H1N1 strain. The pathogen is the root cause of influenza cases in a village in the Siberian Novosibirsk region.

Nearly 10 years later, Vespignani’s story was most likely published in Issue 34 of wired Italia In December 2011is fully applicable to the stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, from the discovery of the first epidemic, its spread to other countries, to containment measures and the creation hypothesis in the laboratory.

with its size enemy plans. What is crisis forecasting and how does it work? The author, who with his team has been instrumental in studying data on the epidemic, and over the years has also dealt with the management and epidemics of SARS, Ebola and Zika, presents and explains the importance of ecology. Since the outbreak of the epidemic Corona Virusthe physicist has collaborated with many organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Whether it was swine flu or Ebola or cholera in the middle of the nineteenth century in London or monkeypoxof which several cases were recently identified outside the East African region, according to Vespiniani, what we need to deal with the spread of the pathogen is access to data. By studying the behaviors, population movements and characteristics of the virus, it is possible, for example, to determine what worst case scenarioThe worst situation that could happen if they weren’t caught containment measuresgo ahead with one maps drawing epidemic. Let them be the ones who care Health facilitiesflows of movement of citizens, distribution of population orportability index Of the pathogens, there are always predictions in the norm data.

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In the volume, the author traces the defining moments that marked the early months of 2020, focusing on the discovery of the outbreak in Wuhan, Chinathen we turn to the analysis of the situation in Italy, (Italian Non Lesson, as defined by Vespignani) and in the United States. Title and chapter names – the first, in fact, is wartime – They belong In the Semantic field of war: in the book COVID-19 Described as an enemy, an invader must be defeated and eliminated. While the metaphor of war is not fully shared, or used by the media (“I have often found Novel “military” Tired, exhausted and tired”), Vespignani is convinced that in terms of planning and the number of resources used, the resource used to counter the consequences of the spread of the coronavirus can undoubtedly be considered a real defense plan and a counter-attack plan.

Vespignani’s account sheds light on what has been – and what has not been done – in managing the pandemic, between delays in adopting containment measures and minimizing the consequences of the virus. In light of the coming epidemic, in the last part of the book – Vespignani clearly mentions cases monkeypoxAnd the But the same can also be extended to other types of pathogens – warns the physicist: in the future we will not have to make the mistake that was made for COVID-19, and this is the belief that it was the same SARS. We have to counter the emergency by taking into account a bunch of different schemes – here the physicist passes into the mathematical metaphor – such as those collected in the “playbook” of the American football team. And don’t get caught up in not being prepared.

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