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PhD Comprehensive Exam | Joe Pharaon, How does social behavior influence the evolution of pathogen virulence?Export this event to calendar

Thursday, August 11, 2016 — 10:00 AM EDT

MC 6460

Candidate

Joe Pharaon , Applied Mathematics, University of Waterloo

Title

How does social behavior influence the evolution of pathogen virulence?

Abstract

From historic pandemics like the bubonic plague to the more recent  
outbreaks of the Zika virus, human behaviour continues to influence  
the course of disease spread. The severity of an emerging pathogen,  
known as virulence, is perhaps one of the very first indicators public  
health officials attempt to quantify. Research continues to address  
the connection between social behaviour and the emergence of pathogen  
and its severity, yet it neglects an essential point: an evolving  
behaviour. We propose to extend models in epidemiology by considering  
a new variable describing changes in behaviour, that is coupled with  
the epidemiological processes. Our preliminary results suggest that  
proper behaviour can attenuate outbreak intensities and in some cases  
completely prevent them.

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