Sunday, March 6, 2016

Spatiotemporal analysis and the swine flu

When an outbreak of the H1N1 swine flu started in Mexico and the U.S. it was quickly declared to be a pandemic. The World Health Organization or WHO, reported a total of 429 deaths world wide and over 90,000 serious cases. There were limited studies that have focused on global scale analyses of pandemics. The authors of “utilizing spatiotemporal analysis of influenza-like illness and rapid tests to focus swine-origin influenza intervention” did just as the title states. They used spatiotemporal analysis in order to study patterns that emerged from the swine flu outbreaks in order to assist the prevention of future outbreaks. From the data that they could access, they found that the swine flu was very prevalent by the US-Mexico border. The maps below show the cases of illnesses and their location.


By using spatiotemporal analysis, the authors were able to gain an understanding of how swine flu traveled and where outbreaks were likely to occur. In the future it will be helpful to use this technique in real time in order to stop pandemics from spreading and predict what areas are at the highest risk.

Wilson, J. G., Ballou, J., Yan, C., Fisher-Hoch, S. P., Reininger, B., Gay, J., ... & Lopez, L. (2010). Utilizing spatiotemporal analysis of influenza-like illness and rapid tests to focus swine-origin influenza virus intervention.Health & place16(6), 1230-1239.

I have acted with honesty and integrity in producing this work and am unaware of anyone who has not. Jolene Klenzendorf


  1. The detailed figures allow for an appropriate assessment of the Swine Flu epidemic along the Texas-Mexico border. The coloring of the areas is a good way for the reader to understand the significance of the outbreak but most of the figures cover the same area. It would be interesting to find out how far Swine Flu traveled across northern Texas and southern Mexico, and/or surrounding states. While it would be intriguing to find out how far Swine traveled, these images are a good tool for understanding the significance of swine flu across the US-Mexico border.

  2. Being familiar with the data, I couldn't help but wonder why there was so such a big outbreak and why these cases made up such a high concentration of the Swine Flu in the lower Rio Grande Valley. Taking the socio-economic status into consideration, also easy access to affordable health care or lack-thereof, and possible legal status in the US could possibly lead to interesting findings in the development of this disease.