Modeling MedKits: Placing Pre-event Pharmaceuticals for Anthrax

Michelle Houck and I have finished a technical report about our work on a model that estimates the expected number of deaths in an anthrax attack by modeling the logistics of the response and the use of MedKits. We are currently working on a stochastic version of the model to determine the distribution of deaths and a user-friendly implementation. (See also the project web page.)

The results from the scenarios we considered show that increasing the number of MedKits distributed can reduce the expected number of deaths. When the population has more potential exposures, deploying MedKits is more effective. The MedKits reduce the number of potential exposures who seek prophylaxis, which allows those truly exposed (but without MedKits) to receive medication sooner, which saves lives. Beyond the scenarios considered here, the ability to predict this benefit in other scenarios will be valuable to public health officials who are considering this option.

2011 Public Health Preparedness Summit

The 2011 Public Health Preparedness Summit will be next month in Atlanta. The schedule includes many interactive sessions, town halls with government officials, and other activities.

Two interactive sessions will discuss modeling:

Modeling Before, During, and After Disease Outbreaks to Improve Outcomes will be on Wednesday, February 23, at 1:30 P.M. The speakers include Nathaniel Hupert, Associate Professor, Cornell University, and Senior Medical Advisor, CDC; James Spitzer, Emergency Preparedness Manager, Multnomah County (Oregon) Health Department; and Julie Swann, Associate Professor, Georgia Tech.

Utilizing research to inform Public Health Practice and Emergency Preparedness and Response: Managing scare resources, and modeling responses to the “What Ifs” and Unknowns of public health emergencies will be Friday, February 25 at 8:30 A.M. The session includes Saad Omer, Assistant Professor, Emory University; Kathy Kinlaw, Emory University Center for Ethics; Patricia M. Sweeney, Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh; and Julie Simmons Ivy, Assistant Professor, North Carolina State University.