TORONTO, Canada–A system developed by Canadian researchers to rapidly evaluate the worldâ€™s air traffic patterns accurately predicted how the H1N1 virus would spread around the world. The team is led by Dr. Kamran Khan.
Infectious disease physicians at Torontoâ€™s St. Michaelâ€™s Hospital say that by evaluating air traffic patterns around the world, they were able to predict how the virus would spread globally.
Dr. Kamran Khan and colleagues analyzed flight itineraries of more than 2.3 million passengers who left Mexico on commercial flights in March and April. The team found that countries that received more travellers from Mexico were more likely to import cases of the H1N1 flu virus.
As well, the cities that received the largest number of travellers from Mexico were more likely to have imported H1N1 flu cases. The researchers found that welcoming 1,400 travellers from Mexico put a country at high risk of imported cases of the virus.
Dr. Khan has an MD from University of Toronto and an MPH from Columbia University. His research focuses on global migration and infectious diseases with a particular emphasis on the health of recent immigrant and refugee populations to industrialized nations such as Canada and the United States.