Friday, October 11, 2013

Disease Forecast for Northeast India

2:30pm CDT, University of Wisconsin
I am on the board  & an investor in AscelBio, a company that is creating a new science of disease forecasting in much the same way that meteorologists forecast storms. We released a forecast earlier this afternoon to our clientele to help prepare for conditions in India after the hurricane strikes. Here it is:

60% chance:  Analysis of the aftermath of the October 1999 cyclone (and other cyclones in the state) indicates that diarrheal illnesses, cholera, leptospirosis, and vector-borne diseases are all likely to increase in the days, weeks, and months after the disaster.3456 A repeat is likely, though an epidemic outbreak is currently indeterminable. 

75% chance:  Analysis of the aftermath of the October 1999 cyclone (and other cyclones in the state) indicates that diarrheal illnesses, cholera, leptospirosis, and vector-borne diseases are all likely to increase in the days, weeks, and months after the disaster.3456 A repeat is likely, though an epidemic outbreak is currently indeterminable.

60% chance:  Strain will be felt at the national and international level to provide relief and resources. In the immediate aftermath of the disaster, Ascel Bio expects major investments will need to be made in repairing basic services and infrastructure and major obstacles will be presented in deploying medical, energy, and sanitation services to heavily affected areas.

Basis of Scenarios
Ascel Bio has conducted an extensive review of archived literature regarding cyclonic impacts in India, particularly on the Eastern coast, around the states of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, and West Bengal. Two primary literature reviews were conducted: the first focused on reports of disease outbreaks in India over the past 3 months, and the second covered historical records of cyclone activity, disease outbreaks, and infrastructural capacities in East India over the past 20 years. The purpose of these reviews was to harmonize Ascel Bio’s understanding of disease seasonality in India with the infrastructural strains and epidemic threats witnessed in post-disaster situations. 


We are hopeful that by getting this information out now, international relief agencies can better plan. 

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