Research by scientists at the University of Liverpool has found that greater consideration of the limitations and uncertainties in infectious disease modelling would improve its usefulness and value.
Infectious disease dynamical modelling plays a central role in planning for outbreaks of human and livestock diseases. They forecast how they might progress and inform policy responses.
Informing policy decisions
Modelling is commissioned by governments or may be developed independently by researchers. It has been used to inform policy decisions for human and animal diseases such as SARS, H1N1 swine influenza, foot-and-mouth disease and is being used to inform action in the campaign to control bovine TB.
In a study published in PLOS One, researchers analysed scientific papers, interviews, policies, reports, and outcomes of previous infectious disease outbreaks in the UK to ascertain the role uncertainties played in previous models, and how these were understood by both the designers of the model and the users of the model.