Modeling potential responses to smallpox as a bioterrorist weapon

Martin I. Meltzer, Inger Damon, James W. LeDuc, J. Donald Millar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

180 Scopus citations

Abstract

We constructed a mathematical model to describe the spread of smallpox after a deliberate release of the virus. Assuming 100 persons initially infected and 3 persons infected per infectious person, quarantine alone could stop disease transmission but would require a minimum daily removal rate of 50% of those with overt symptoms. Vaccination would stop the outbreak within 365 days after release only if disease transmission were reduced to ≥0.85 persons infected per infectious person. A combined vaccination and quarantine campaign could stop an outbreak if a daily quarantine rate of 25% were achieved and vaccination reduced smallpox transmission by ≥33%. In such a scenario, approximately 4,200 cases would occur and 365 days would be needed to stop the outbreak. Historical data indicate that a median of 2,155 smallpox vaccine doses per case were given to stop outbreaks, implying that a stockpile of 40 million doses should be adequate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)959-969
Number of pages11
JournalEmerging infectious diseases
Volume7
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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