Planning for smallpox outbreaks

Neil M. Ferguson*, Matt J. Keeling, W. John Edmunds, Raymond Gani, Bryan T. Grenfell, Roy M. Anderson, Stephen Leach

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    287 Citations (Scopus)


    Mathematical models of viral transmission and control are important tools for assessing the threat posed by deliberate release of the smallpox virus and the best means of containing an outbreak. Models must balance biological realism against limitations of knowledge, and uncertainties need to be accurately communicated to policy-makers. Smallpox poses the particular challenge that key biological, social and spatial factors affecting disease spread in contemporary populations must be elucidated largely from historical studies undertaken before disease eradication in 1979. We review the use of models in smallpox planning within the broader epidemiological context set by recent outbreaks of both novel and re-emerging pathogens.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)681-685
    Number of pages5
    Issue number6959
    Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2003

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    Acknowledgements We thank the Royal Society (N.M.F. and M.J.K.), MRC (N.M.F.), Howard Hughes Medical Institute (N.M.F.), BBSRC (M.J.K. and B.T.G.), the Wellcome Trust (B.T.G. and R.M.A.) and the Department of Health (W.J.E., R.G. and S.L.) for funding. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the Department of Health, but we thank staff of the Department for discussions.

    Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


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