UTA Department of Mathematics

Special Applied Mathematics Colloquium

Date/Time/Room: Friday (2/15/2002) at 2:00pm in 119 Life Science Building

Speaker: Herbert W. Hethcote, Department of Mathematics, University of Iowa

``Modeling New Whooping Cough Vaccination Strategies''

Abstract: This talk will look at the interaction between mathematics and biology in a particular area of epidemiology. It will begin by discussing a simple mathematical model for the spread of a disease which confers permanent immunity upon those who recover, and then go on to address how to formulate an age-structured model before considering specifically pertussis, also known as whooping cough.

Whooping cough is a highly communicable, bacterial disease that lasts for many weeks and typically affects infants and young children. Whooping cough results in high morbidity and mortality in many countries every year. In the United States, 5000-7000 cases are reported each year, and incidence of pertussis has increased steadily since the 1980s. Fortunately, pertussis can be prevented by vaccination; most deaths from the disease occur among unvaccinated children or children too young to be vaccinated. The talk will conclude with a comparison of vaccination strategies for this disease.