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Researchers Use Wireless To Study How Flu Spreads 64

MojoKid writes "With the help of wireless sensors, Stanford researchers confirmed what most of us suspected. When it comes to infectious viruses, human beings are toast. The researchers outfitted an entire high school population with IEEE 802.15.4 sensors for one day to model what they call a 'human contact network.' The devices tracked how often people came within the infection-spreading range of other individuals during a typical height-of-flu-season January day. The devices logged more than 760,000 incidents when two people were within 10 feet of each other, roughly the maximum distance that a disease can be transmitted through a cough or sneeze, according to a Stanford report on the project. The researchers ran thousands of simulations of a flu outbreak trying to determine infection rates under various circumstances."
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Researchers Use Wireless To Study How Flu Spreads

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  • by Entrpy ( 987700 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @09:38PM (#34569246) []


    The most frequent infectious diseases in humans—and those with the highest potential for rapid pandemic spread—are usually transmitted via droplets during close proximity interactions (CPIs). Despite the importance of this transmission route, very little is known about the dynamic patterns of CPIs. Using wireless sensor network technology, we obtained high-resolution data of CPIs during a typical day at an American high school, permitting the reconstruction of the social network relevant for infectious disease transmission. At 94% coverage, we collected 762,868 CPIs at a maximal distance of 3 m among 788 individuals. The data revealed a high-density network with typical small-world properties and a relatively homogeneous distribution of both interaction time and interaction partners among subjects. Computer simulations of the spread of an influenza-like disease on the weighted contact graph are in good agreement with absentee data during the most recent influenza season. Analysis of targeted immunization strategies suggested that contact network data are required to design strategies that are significantly more effective than random immunization. Immunization strategies based on contact network data were most effective at high vaccination coverage. /p?

  • Re:Wireless != noun (Score:5, Informative)

    by cheekyjohnson ( 1873388 ) on Wednesday December 15, 2010 @11:05PM (#34569878)

    I always found that to be completely pointless, as well. Its meaning is still the same, and it's used in the exact same circumstances as the swear word they're replacing. That said, getting offended by mere words is just idiotic, I think. People use the argument that swear words were intended to be offensive, but not only are they mere words, but you have no obligation to be offended by them. It's ultimately your own fault if you get offended. People need to get out of their little bubbles and toughen up.

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