This week, Boston Mayor Tom Menino declared a state of emergency after the state announced there is a flu outbreak. Clinics have been set up on what seems like every street corner so that people can get flu shots. And we’re all being reminded to wash our hands, cover our coughs, and stay home if we don’t feel well.
Now, think back to 2009 when H1N1 took hold of not just the country, but the world. More than 40 million people were said to have had the virus. It killed more than 14,000 people.
At the time, Alessandro Vespignani was at the University of Indiana, where, as Angela Herring of News@Northeastern writes, “he began tracking the disease with as much attention as the Centers for Disease Control.”
Vespignani is now the Sternberg Family Distinguished University Professor of physics, computer science, and health sciences at Northeastern University, and he continues to monitor outbreaks around the world.
As news of the latest outbreak is upon us, Vespignani and his colleagues recently published an article in the journal BMC Medicine that offers definitive proof of a strong agreement between the predictions and the real-life surveillance data collected in 2009.
Read more about Vespignani’s work, here.