Campus Public Health Emergency Simulations

School closure during an infectious disease outbreak has always been a public health mitigation option, with substantial social and economic cost and uncertain effects on outbreak control. The meaning of school closure differs from region to region and from country to country, for example, during the 2009 A/H1N1 influenza pandemic, very strict interventions including Fengxiao (restrictions on the movements of university personnel) were taken in mainland China to slow down the initial spread of the disease from the university network to a wider
Community, but Fengxiao means complete opposite to school closure in Canada.

The decision for implementation and/or relaxation of school closure or Fengxiao certainly depends on the setting and the assessment of the level of infection within the university network in comparison with the level of community infection and of the degree of interruption of the normal academic activities and the social/economic costs, but the most important factor impacting the decision is whether the initiation and termination of school closure/Fengxiao can alter the disease spread pattern in the entire community for an effective prevention and control of the emerging disease. In [S. Tang, Y. Xiao, L. Yuan, R. Cheke & J. Wu, J. Theoretical Biology, 295:21, 47-58(2012), a dynamic model to evaluate the effectiveness of Fengxiao as a social distance measure for curbing the outbreak in major cities of China was developed and analyzed. The Centre for Disease Modelling also launched a modelling study (unpublished) with a typical school in Ontario for model parametrization. The intern project will base on these two studies and an intensive literature review to identify two comparative schools in two different settings to see under which condition school closure/Fengxiao is feasible and useful.

Faculty Supervisor:

Jianhong Wu


Silas Emanoel De Holanda Santos



Computer science



York University



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