FORECASTING FLU OUTBREAKS

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New software based on statistical probability principles is helping forecast our flu season, and could also identify the level of threat of a bioterrorist attack.

A forecasting tool that uses data routinely collected by state health departments could be used to forecast disease in the event of a bioterrorist attack or new influenza pandemic.

EpiFX, which was co-developed by researchers at the University of Melbourne and theĀ Defence Science Technology (DST) Group, is already predicting the start and extent of the winter influenza season, sometimes up to weeks in advance. In the event of a pandemic, it can also be used to identify an appropriate response.

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