Quantifying and Controlling Infectious Diseases

Quantifying infectious disease threats is the first step toward controlling and eliminating them. Thousands of reports of possible infectious disease outbreaks are produced every month around the world, creating an urgent need to prioritize responses to those threats that are most pressing. Accurate measurement of the number of persons affected, their demographics, the transmissibility and severity of the infection, and the likely variation of these quantities over space and time is essential for evidence-based decisions about which responses to prioritize. Accurate evaluation of the impact of interventions such as vaccination and treatment is critical to ensure that decisions continue to reflect the best evidence.