Scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) are developing the Pandemic Influenza Planning Tool, an analytic toolkit designed to help health officials create response strategies for pandemics. The toolkit can model the spread of a disease through various age groups and geographic populations and can quickly assess the benefit of each decision for different scenarios in advance. "The use of this tool can allow health officials to more accurately predict how a disease might evolve when various mitigation strategies are applied," says PNNL's Robert Brigantic.
The planning tool also can be used to develop a preventative strategy. PNNL partnered with researchers at Purdue University to create a visual element to the toolkit called PanViz. PanViz enables decision makers to visually track a simulation of spreading influenza on a video monitor.
Researchers are improving the toolkit's disease-modeling capabilities by developing more complex underlying algorithms.
From Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
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