Modeling Influenza Pandemic and Strategies for Food Distribution in collaboration with the American Red Cross

Health/Infectious Diseases
Strategies for Food Distribution during Pandemic Influenza
American Red Cross

Many experts believe that a pandemic influenza will hit the world in the near future given the flu epidemics that happened in the last century. Governments and non governmental organizations prepare response plans, but most preparation has focused on developing vaccine manufacturing, stockpiling antivirals and vaccines, etc. In collaboration with the American Red Cross, a study is conducted in the logistics side of the problem, specifically, food distribution logistics during a pandemic influenza. For this purpose, a disease spread model was developed. This model assists in estimating the number of infected individuals across time and geographical region using publicly available data with the state of Georgia as an initial pilot. The spread model determines the food needs, which is followed by a Dynamic Update Approach that integrates this disease spread model and a facility location model for opening food distribution facilities. Ongoing work includes analysis of interventions involving social distancing, school closures, vaccines strategies, along with impact of factor such as seasonality and virus mutation.

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