Be it due to changes in climate, human activity, or mutation of the pathogens themselves, infectious diseases are re-surging globally and inflicting a considerable burden on humankind.
In 2013 and 2015, chikungunya and Zika viruses were reported in the western hemisphere for the first time. Dengue continues to increase with an estimated 50% of the global population at risk. According to data compiled by the US CDC, the 2014-16 Ebola pandemic was the largest in recorded history with about 30,000 cases (almost 40% of which were fatalities). Moreover, ‘old’ diseases like cholera continue to reach humanitarian crisis levels among displaced people after human and natural disasters around the world.
While forecasting when the next pandemic will strike and which pathogen it will be is the ultimate goal, analyzing past outbreaks to understand how they moved, and how intervention might have limited their spread, is a necessary intermediate step. Our team focuses on understanding the spread and dynamics of mosquito-borne diseases.