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March 26, 2002

School Researchers Study Smallpox Spread via Air Travel

Research conducted by the Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health suggests that national air travel restrictions instituted on the same day of reported smallpox cases could slow, but not halt, the spread of the disease. The analysis was presented on March 24 during a poster session at the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases in Atlanta hosted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The researchers created a mathematical model to estimate the spread on smallpox from city to city through air travel. Rebecca Freeman, graduate student, J. Hugh Ellis, PhD, professor of geography and environmental engineering, and Gregory E. Glass, PhD, associate professor of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, conducted the analysis. 

For more information on the CDC’s International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases, visit their website at http://www.cdc.gov/iceid.

Public Affairs Media Contact for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Tim Parsons @ 410.955.6878 or paffairs@jhsph.edu.