ASU In the News

ASU epidemiologist explores influenza variants, immunity in Brazil

<p>The Brazilian newspaper <em>Folha de Sao Paulo</em> recently highlighted the work of an international team of researchers who examined the trajectory of influenza in Brazil.</p><p>The team, including Arizona State University mathematical epidemiologist Gerardo Chowell-Puente, found that influenza seems to spread more slowly in Brazil than in other countries due to the population’s relatively high level of immunity. However, the virus appears to show great genetic diversity in Brazil, suggesting the potential for the population to produce new variants of the disease and transmit them beyond the country’s borders.</p><p>Chowell-Puente says that, unlike in the northern hemisphere, where there is a very well-marked flu season, the situation in Brazil is “more reminiscent of a scenario in which viruses are circulating all the time, and that would explain the development of higher immunity.”</p><p>The findings of Chowell’s team were published Feb. 11 in the journal <em>Proceedings of the Royal Society B</em>.</p><p>Chowell-Puente is an assistant&nbsp;professor in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at ASU. He teaches courses in the school's Applied Mathematics for the Life and Social Sciences and Global Health programs. Named one of the top 100 Mexican researchers living and teaching in the United States by Mexico's <em>Poder y Negocios</em>, Chowell-Puente is an expert modeler of the social and biological factors that determine how diseases spread, and the effectiveness of interventions to contain them.</p>

Article Source: Folha de Sao Paulo
Rebecca Howe

Communications Specialist, School of Human Evolution and Social Change