Applied Demographic Modeling for Rubella

Jessica Metcalf (June 27, 2013)

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Demography is often a key driver of the burden of infectious diseases, via both its impact on dynamics and the existence of age-patterns of affliction. Rubella, a directly transmitted, immunising childhood infection is an extreme example of this. Although rubella is generally a mild and even asymptomatic infection of children, infection in the early weeks of pregnancy can lead to birth of a child with Congenital Rubella Syndrome. The syndrome is associated with a range of symptoms, including deafness, blindness, and mental retardation. I will introduce models combining human and epidemiological dynamics for rubella; highlighting their application to the key public health question of when demographic and epidemiological conditions are such that the introduction of the rubella vaccine will not lead to an increase in the burden of Congenital Rubella Sydnrome; and placing this in the current global demographic context.