In the past decades, mathematical models have become more and more accepted as a tool to develop surveillance programs and to evaluate the efficacy of intervention measures for the control of infectious diseases such as highly pathogenic avian influenza. Predictive models are used to simulate the effect of various control measures on the course of an epidemic; analytical models are used to analyze data from outbreaks or from experiments. A key parameter in both types of models is the reproductive ratio, which indicates whether virus can be transmitted in the population, resulting in an epidemic, or not. Parameters obtained from real data using the analytical models can subsequently be used in predictive models to evaluate control strategies or surveillance programs. Examples of the use of these models are described here.
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Vol. 54 • No. s1