Modeling Disease Spread at Global Mass Gatherings: Hajj as a Case Study

TitleModeling Disease Spread at Global Mass Gatherings: Hajj as a Case Study
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsAlshammari SM, Mikler AR
Conference Name 2015 International Conference on Healthcare Informatics (ICHI)
Date Published10/2015
Conference LocationDallas, TX
KeywordsComputational modeling, Data models, Disease spread, disease spread modeling, diseases, Epidemic, epidemics, global disease spread, global mass gatherings, Hajj, Hajj season, infectious diseases, local disease spread, Mass gatherings, medical computing, public health hazards, Public healthcare, Sociology, Statistics

Due to the unique nature of the mass gatherings and the public health hazards they pose, comprehensive modeling of disease spread during these events is needed. Computational models are essential tools to estimate the arising of epidemics. In this paper, we present our ongoing efforts to model disease spread during the Hajj. We discuss the different aspects of modeling the spread of infectious diseases during the Hajj season. Although, the modeling approaches in this study are still under active research, we believe that once fully developed, these models can be used to provide reliable indicators for public health authorities to estimate the risk of local disease spread during the Hajj and global disease spread following the Hajj.