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“Legal Preparedness for Infectious Disease Outbreaks in the U.S.” presented at Ebola workshop

 Guclu EbolaModelingConf 01.22.15Hasan Guclu, PhD, presented a peer-reviewed poster presentation at the “Modeling the Spread and Control of Ebola in West Africa: A rapid response workshop” held in Atlanta, GA last month. The work, “Legal Preparedness for Infectious Disease Outbreaks in the U.S.—Gaps and Opportunities,” was co-authored by Kevin Ashley, Elizabeth Ferrell Bjerke, Margaret Potter, Hasan Guclu, Jaromir Savelka, Matthias Grabmair, and Stringer R.

The authors studied the public health emergency preparedness laws and regulations of 12 different states in the U.S. They specifically focused on surveillance of infectious diseases outbreaks including Ebola and its main components from hospitals to governmental public health agencies such as local health departments. They used the framework and tools of network analysis to investigate to what extent the agents of the public health system in a state communicate with each other. Network analysis provides quantitative measures as well as graphic visualizations for complex patterns embedded in infectious disease emergency and preparedness laws, facilitating interpretation and comparison by non-lawyers. They compared the legal preparedness networks of Kansas, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin, for infectious disease surveillance and found some gaps in the state of Texas where the first Ebola case has been reported. The work has implications for public health policy and also has the potential to help modelers to adopt their simulations for different jurisdictions.

For more information about the workshop, please visit the webpage at http://bioinformatics.gatech.edu/ebola-modeling-workshop/

For an International Business Times article quoting Dr. Guclu, please see http://www.ibtimes.com/ebola-outbreak-estimate-14-million-victims-never-materialized-now-cdc-rethinks-how-it-1804152

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