Results for: Public Health

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April 04, 2018

How Opioid-Related Messaging Goes Viral: Researchers Share Findings From Social Media Study

Pulling data from more than 5,400 opioid-related Twitter posts, scientists at the Biocomplexity Institute searched for common factors among the most highly shared content. They shared their findings with public health professionals from across the commonwealth at the 2018 Virginia Public Health & Healthcare Preparedness Academy in Roanoke.

August 14, 2017

Using Big Data to Stop an Epidemic: Director Chris Barrett Interviewed by Healthcare Informatics

Leaders at the Biocomplexity Institute of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), in Blacksburg, Virginia, have been busy working on an exciting initiative: they have been developing an analytic modeling platform and simulation environment that make it possible to prepare for and prevent the spread of common infectious diseases such flu as well as rare diseases like Ebola and Zika.

June 23, 2017

Child Safety or Parental Duty: New Study Maps Out Core Concepts in the Vaccination Debate

A new study from the Biocomplexity Institute suggests that the debate around vaccination on social media may hinge more on different understandings of risk, responsibility, and credibility than any particular set of scientific data.

June 20, 2017

Biocomplexity Institute’s Ebola-tested Tools Help Set New Standard for Federal Disease Control

Biocomplexity Institute researchers are building an online network designed to help disease experts share information, identify warning signs of impending epidemics, and coordinate effective response strategies for ongoing outbreaks.

June 01, 2017

Vaccinating Kids Early During Flu Season Could Have Surprising Economic Impact, New Study Suggests

Researchers used a simulated flu outbreak to measure how targeting certain populations for vaccination can benefit society at large.

March 29, 2017

Hopping the Species Barrier: Harmful Bacteria Discovered in Both Amphibians and Mammals

Once thought to affect mainly humans and livestock, Brucella bacteria are now being found in species scientists never expected. Previously unknown strains of the bacteria were recently discovered in African bullfrogs.

June 15, 2016

Uncharted Territory: How Big Data is Helping to Map an Emerging Zika Epidemic

The Biocomplexity Institute's newly developed simulation system uses information on people's movements through infected regions to predict where the virus will spread next.

December 17, 2015

Lowering Flu Season’s Heavy Toll

As year-end activities ramp up, the flu is in full swing. In a season that’s often filled with social and economic pressures, the added price of influenza can be staggering: up to $87B in medical costs and lost productivity according to the latest Centers for Disease Control (CDC) statistics.

August 04, 2015

PATRIC: Fighting Antibiotic Resistance Worldwide

Antibacterial resistance is becoming an increasingly pressing problem in hospitals around the world. More and more species of bacteria are developing resistances to commonly used antibiotics, forcing an antibacterial arms race that often results in the death of patients.

May 28, 2015

How Computer Modelers Took On the Ebola Outbreak

Here’s what we know for sure. On the afternoon of Friday, 3 October 2014, Pyrros A. Telionis got a telephone call from the U.S. government’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). The voice on the phone was brisk and professional. And highly specific. Could Telionis provide, by 8 o’clock Monday morning, a list of the best places to build Ebola treatment centers in Liberia’s six southernmost counties?

April 30, 2015

New Framework Measures Fairness When Distributing Vaccines

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 30, 2015 – Public health officials are faced with a tough decision when vaccines are in short supply during an outbreak. How do they objectively decide who should be protected against disease?

September 26, 2014

Virginia Bioinformatics Institute Models Provided Early Alert to Deadly Potential of Ebola Outbreak

BLACKSBURG, Va., Sept. 26, 2014 – The Ebola epidemic could claim hundreds of thousands of lives and infect more than 1.4 million people by the end of January, according to a statistical forecast released this week by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

January 23, 2014

Synthetic Population Study Offers New Strategy for Controlling Epidemics in Big Cities

BLACKSBURG, Va., Jan. 23, 2014 – Researchers in the Network Dynamics and Simulation Science Laboratory at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute are the first to model in detail how transient populations impact the spread of an illness, and how outbreaks such as influenza can be curbed by encouraging healthy behaviors in high-traffic tourist destinations.

December 02, 2013

Scientists Aid in Fighting Deadly, Drug-Resistant TB Around the World

BLACKSBURG, Va, December 2, 2013 – Researchers at Virginia Bioinformatics Institute have recently returned from a trip halfway across the globe in the race to confront drug-resistant tuberculosis. As part of a week-long course in comparative genomics organized by researchers from the Broad Institute, senior bioscientist and computational biologist Rebecca Wattam trained participants on using the Pathosystems Resource Integration Center (PATRIC). PATRIC is a web-based portal that provides bacterial infectious disease researchers with analysis tools and comparative data.  The course took place at the Kwazulu-Natal Research Institute for Tuberculosis and HIV (K-RITH) in Durban, South Africa and involved participants from all over Africa.