SARS Outbreak Study 2

Discussion Questions

Carefully consider the following questions. Write down your answers (1 - 2 paragraphs) for question # 1 within a word document and submit your answers to your seminar leader. Be prepared to discuss all questions during the seminar section.

  • What are the most cost effective and easily implementable ways of manipulating the parameters of reproductive rate to slow the spread of the SARS epidemic? Which of the parameters do you expect would be the most difficult to alter? What if the disease in question was not SARS but HIV/AIDS?
  • Measures such as the attack rate and the case-fatality ratio give us a crude idea of the virulence and mortality of the infectious disease. During an active outbreak, when would the case-fatality ratio be most useful for public health planning and hypothesis testing: at the beginning, middle, or end of the outbreak?
  • Consider the scenario in question 2. When would the attack rate be most useful for stopping the spread of the epidemic? How do changes in the definition of who is at risk affect the calculation of the attack rate, and how might these changes impact public health planning?