- Institut Pasteur
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Capturing the spread and evolution of influenza A
Abstract: The dynamics of influenza A in humans has long attracted the attention of mathematical modellers, and here we will look at two particular aspects of recent work on 'flu spread and evolution. Firstly, fully capturing the evolutionary dynamics of seasonal influenza requires modelling multiple interacting strains. We will look at some of the reasons this is so challenging mathematically, and also look at the application of a model which includes age structure. Secondly, we will consider the spatial dynamics of influenza. In particular, looking at a uniquely detailed dataset from the US in 2009, we see that the pandemic strain actually was rather slow to spread across the US. This is rather puzzling, given the modern age of rapid long-distance travel. I'll present recent work which investigates the potential roles of school openings and humidity in explaining local variations in pandemic arrival timing in the US.