Contagion! The BBC Four Pandemic

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Contagion! The BBC4 Pandemic

Contagion – The BBC Four Pandemic (1 hour)

 

In 2o17 a citizen science experiment was made lead by data: a simulation of a pandemic influenza-lie outbreak in the UK. The results of this simulation were disclosed in a documentary called Contagion! The BBC Four Pandemic.

The main points of the citizen science experiment were a smartphone app called BBC Pandemic that recorded volunteers’ movements and self-reported contacts. This data was used after to build and run a model of how a pandemic would spread in the UK.

The app followed the approximate movement during 24 hours of citizens that downloaded the app. It also asked them some questions about their journeys and the people they spent time with during those 24 hours.

The data collected between September and November 2017 was used to simulate the spread of an infectious virus pandemic.

The obtained results show the difference between the pandemic wave in the absence of control measures (on the left graph) and with extra hand hygiene (on the right). The simulation of the spread with no extra control concludes that the bulk of the infection is concluded by 80-90 days. And with control measures, the accumulation of cases is slowed and get to peak only around 140 days. Not only it is slower, but also, the number of cases is much lower.

The extra control measures do not stop this pandemic from spreading through the UK, but they do both slow it down and reduce its impact.