Where in the US would an epidemic most likely start?

Although slightly outside of the remit of vaccines, I thought this paper was absolutely fascinating. The last decade has taught us that long-range travel appears to play a very important role in the spread of infectious diseases – and the air transportation network could play a central role in propagating a global pandemic.

Researchers at MIT have calculated how likely each of the US' 40 largest airports might be to influence the spread of an infectious disease that originated in its host city. Reporting in open access PLOS One, the researchers examined air travel data, travel patterns of individuals, geographical locations of airports and waiting times at connecting airports to simulate the early stages of epidemic spread.

Predicting where and how rapidly an epidemic could spread could help inform us on its mitigation. Researcher Ruben Juanes, said that "the findings could form the basis for an initial evaluation of vaccine allocation strategies in the event of an outbreak."

So which airports would be the most influential in the early stages of epidemic spread? Click Next to read them all >


Read 5 of the Most Terrible Epidemics That Won't Happen Again (thanks to vaccines)


Comments 1

  1. Keith Haffer

    Although you can’t argue with science, I know from personal experience (exposure) that Miami would be high on my list. In 2005, we were exposed to norovirus from a family returning from a cruise ship. The connecting flight to Chicago was exposed (kids vomitted) before being removed from flight.

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