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FRED (A Framework for Reconstructing Epidemic Dynamics): An open-source software system for modeling infectious diseases and control strategies using census-based populations

Grefenstette, JJ and Brown, ST and Rosenfeld, R and Depasse, J and Stone, NTB and Cooley, PC and Wheaton, WD and Fyshe, A and Galloway, DD and Sriram, A and Guclu, H and Abraham, T and Burke, DS (2013) FRED (A Framework for Reconstructing Epidemic Dynamics): An open-source software system for modeling infectious diseases and control strategies using census-based populations. BMC Public Health, 13 (1).

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Background: Mathematical and computational models provide valuable tools that help public health planners to evaluate competing health interventions, especially for novel circumstances that cannot be examined through observational or controlled studies, such as pandemic influenza. The spread of diseases like influenza depends on the mixing patterns within the population, and these mixing patterns depend in part on local factors including the spatial distribution and age structure of the population, the distribution of size and composition of households, employment status and commuting patterns of adults, and the size and age structure of schools. Finally, public health planners must take into account the health behavior patterns of the population, patterns that often vary according to socioeconomic factors such as race, household income, and education levels. Results: FRED (a Framework for Reconstructing Epidemic Dynamics) is a freely available open-source agent-based modeling system based closely on models used in previously published studies of pandemic influenza. This version of FRED uses open-access census-based synthetic populations that capture the demographic and geographic heterogeneities of the population, including realistic household, school, and workplace social networks. FRED epidemic models are currently available for every state and county in the United States, and for selected international locations. Conclusions: State and county public health planners can use FRED to explore the effects of possible influenza epidemics in specific geographic regions of interest and to help evaluate the effect of interventions such as vaccination programs and school closure policies. FRED is available under a free open source license in order to contribute to the development of better modeling tools and to encourage open discussion of modeling tools being used to evaluate public health policies. We also welcome participation by other researchers in the further development of FRED. © 2013 Grefenstette et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Grefenstette, JJgref@pitt.eduGREF
Brown, ST
Rosenfeld, R
Depasse, J
Stone, NTB
Cooley, PC
Wheaton, WD
Fyshe, A
Galloway, DDddg5@pitt.eduDDG5
Sriram, A
Guclu, Hguclu@pitt.eduGUCLU
Abraham, T
Burke, DSdonburke@pitt.eduDONBURKE
Centers: Other Centers, Institutes, Offices, or Units > Center for Vaccine Research
Date: 10 October 2013
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: BMC Public Health
Volume: 13
Number: 1
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1186/1471-2458-13-940
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Epidemiology
Refereed: Yes
Date Deposited: 07 May 2015 19:05
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2019 16:57


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