Disease-Spread Modeling

Over the past several years, RAL has worked closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) in a broad capacity that has included “boots on the ground” field work; the conduct of workshops on Weather, Climate and Health; and studies that support these agencies to better characterize environmental conditions that are linked to the onset and spread of a wide range of diseases. In 2019, we completed a study for CDC that entailed generating five years of WRF model output at a horizontal grid spacing of 4km over the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Nigeria, which CDC used to drive their statistical disease-spread models. We are currently jointly developing an updated MOU with CDC that should foster collaborations that could significantly enhance CDC’s understanding of environmental influences on the timing of disease outbreak and spread, including incorporating emerging techniques in artificial intelligence and machine learning.