Epidemiological Modeling of a Bioterrorist Attack on the I-95 Corridor

Master's Thesis


My thesis employs a stochastic, population-based SEIR model to determine attack rates and mortality resulting from the deliberate release of a bioterrorist agent such as avian influenza from several strategic I-95 Corridor populations. While a lower basic reproductive number (R0) and protracted generation time (Tg) produced the fewest fatalities, multiple attack loci accelerated peak of infection by as much as several months, complicating potential interventions. Contrastingly, a high R0 coupled with a brief generation time, irrespective of the number of populations attacked, yielded fatalities approaching one million individuals in as little as one month without containment. Comprehensive vaccination could avert as many as 460,000 fatalities, with a value of statistical life of $3.96T. Extensive antiviral treatment was projected to save as many as 575,000 lives, at a value greater than $4.95T, while a one-quarter reduction in travel yielded as many as 200,000 fewer fatalities, at a value beyond $1.72T.


Attribute NameValues
  • etd-04182014-163742

Author Jessica Muriel Kowalik
Advisor Dr. Benjamin Ridenhour
Contributor Dr. Katherine Taylor, Committee Member
Contributor Dr. Elizabeth Archie, Committee Member
Contributor Dr. Benjamin Ridenhour, Committee Chair
Contributor Dr. William Evans, Committee Member
Degree Level Master's Thesis
Degree Discipline Biological Sciences
Degree Name MS
Defense Date
  • 2014-04-16

Submission Date 2014-04-18
  • United States of America

  • Biological Terrorism

  • Biodefense

  • Epidemiological Models

  • Communicable Disease Transmission

  • I-95 Corridor

  • H5N1 virus

  • University of Notre Dame

  • English

Record Visibility Public
Content License
  • All rights reserved

Departments and Units


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