Simulation of the time course of an epidemics according to the statistical model developed by Reed and Frost
Prof. Andrea Bellelli
UNIVERSITY OF ROMA SAPIENZA
SCHOOL OF PHARMACY AND MEDICINE
Epidemics are a constant treat to mankind, and occur frequently. We have a good understanding of the biochemical mechanisms that govern immunity and susceptibility, but it is sometimes difficult for the student to precisely understand the relationships between biochemical mechanisms, clinical medicine, and epidemiology. This interactive simulation calculates the time course of an epidemics using the statistical - deterministic model developed by Lowell Reed and Wade Hampton Frost. The time scale of the simulation is measured in Serial Generation Times (SGT), defined as the average time required by a person who has been infected to become inefctious and to transmit the disease. Real values for SGT range between a few days and a few weeks; the user may assume SGT=1 week. The student may explore the effect of several variables, most of them biochemical and physiological parameters studied in the basic courses: e.g. immunity or resistence possibly due to genetic variants of virus receptors on the host cell surface. Only one parameter (the nember of contacts, highlighetd in red) is required; for all other variables the program may use defaults (highlighted in bold). It is advisable that the student checks the explanation of the Reed-Frost model at least once, to familiarize with its statistical bases.