PRESS-NEWS.org - Press Release Distribution
PRESS RELEASES DISTRIBUTION

Epidemic-economic model provides answers to key pandemic policy questions

Is lockdown an effective response to a pandemic, or would it be better to let individuals spontaneously reduce their risk of infection? These two highly-debated options lead to similar outcomes

2023-11-16
(Press-News.org) University of Oxford news release

Institute of New Economic Thinking

 

Embargoed until Thursday, 16 November 2023, 16:00 GMT

 

Is lockdown an effective response to a pandemic, or would it be better to let individuals spontaneously reduce their risk of infection?  Research published today suggests these two highly-debated options lead to similar outcomes. 

A ground-breaking economic-pandemic model, created by an international team of researchers, addresses some of the key policy debates of the Covid-19 pandemic but it will, in future, enable governments and policymakers to take tough decisions - and assess effective actions.   

The modelling, designed by the team, including Oxford experts, has been tested using data from New York city responses to Covid-19 - and it accurately predicted both death rates and the impact on the city's economy of the first wave of the pandemic. 

Professor Doyne Farmer, Director of the Complexity Economics Programme at INET Oxford, says the research paper is timely, given the Covid-19 inquiries across the world, 'We are seeing governments across the globe begin their 'moments of reckoning', reviewing the effectiveness of a great variety of policies brought in during Covid-19. 

 ‘According to some, lockdowns were not imposing any trade-off between health and the economy because, if the virus got out of control, the economy would be equally damaged. According to others, letting at-risk individuals spontaneously reduce their risk of infection would have led to the best epidemic and economic outcomes, with no trade-off. These debates have remained contested and unresolved.’ 

Professor Farmer continues, 'Our quantitative research helps provide evidence-based answers to these questions, suggesting that both lockdowns and spontaneous behaviour change lead to similar trade-offs between health and the economy. Those that claimed that there was no trade-off between health and the economy were not basing their belief in a quantitative model. ' 

The health-economy trade-off modelling, in the journal Nature Human Behaviour, is the culmination of years of work from an interdisciplinary team of researchers with backgrounds in economics and epidemiology, as well as physics, computer science, and applied mathematics, all united by a shared expertise in complexity science. 

 The research paper makes a number of conclusions on the effectiveness of government interventions, including:

Both stricter lockdown and strong behaviour change lead to more unemployment and fewer Covid-19 deaths.  They lead to more jobs lost and to more lives saved among low-income workers, while they make less of a difference to high-income workers.  Closing non-customer-facing industries such as manufacturing has little impact on infections but significantly increases unemployment;  Delaying the start of protective measures does little to help the economy and worsens epidemic outcomes in all scenarios;  Dr François Lafond, Deputy Director of INET Oxford's Complexity Economics Programme at the Oxford Martin School, says the model is a big step forward in helping governments prepare for future pandemics, 'Thanks to the level of detail of the model, we could show that low-income workers were affected more by policy decisions, on either side of the health-economy trade-off. Of course, the trade-offs might be different for future crises, but to evaluate these we will need the same kind of interdisciplinary collaboration, building computational models of behaviour to simulate realistic synthetic populations in real time. 

Led by Marco Pangallo of CENTAI Institute, the international research group combined economic modelling with epidemic data, to create a holistic tool that can predict health-economy outcomes from pandemic policy decisions.  The model's accuracy has been proven in predicting death rates and impact on the economy in the first wave of the pandemic in New York City. 

 

END



ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

New research advances understanding of cancer risk in gene therapies

New research advances understanding of cancer risk in gene therapies
2023-11-16
Medical research has shown promising results regarding the potential of gene therapy to cure genetic conditions such as sickle cell disease and the findings of this study, published in Nature Medicine, offer important new insights into processes happening in the body after treatment. The present study looked at samples from six patients with sickle cell disease who were undergoing gene therapy as part of a major clinical trial at Boston Children’s Hospital. The research brought together an international team of experts, to take a closer look at the genetic changes in the stem cells of patients before and after gene therapy ...

A small molecule blocks aversive memory formation, providing a potential treatment target for depression

A small molecule blocks aversive memory formation, providing a potential treatment target for depression
2023-11-16
Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses in the world, but current anti-depressants have yet to meet the needs of many patients. Neuroscientists from City University of Hong Kong (CityU) recently discovered a small molecule that can effectively alleviate stress-induced depressive symptoms in mice by preventing aversive memory formation with a lower dosage, offering a new direction for developing anti-depressants in the future. “Depression affects millions of individuals worldwide, necessitating more effective treatments. Conventional methods, such as drug therapy with delayed onset of action and psychotherapy, have limitations in yielding satisfactory ...

Plants that survived dinosaur extinction pulled nitrogen from air

Plants that survived dinosaur extinction pulled nitrogen from air
2023-11-16
DURHAM, N.C. -- Once a favored food of grazing dinosaurs, an ancient lineage of plants called cycads helped sustain these and other prehistoric animals during the Mesozoic Era, starting 252 million years ago, by being plentiful in the forest understory. Today, just a few species of the palm-like plants survive in tropical and subtropical habitats. Like their lumbering grazers, most cycads have gone extinct. Their disappearance from their prior habitats began during the late Mesozoic and continued into the early Cenozoic Era, punctuated by the cataclysmic asteroid impact and volcanic activity that mark the K-Pg boundary 66 million years ago. However, unlike the dinosaurs, somehow a few groups ...

The mind’s eye of a neural network system

The mind’s eye of a neural network system
2023-11-16
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – In the background of image recognition software that can ID our friends on social media and wildflowers in our yard are neural networks, a type of artificial intelligence inspired by how own our brains process data. While neural networks sprint through data, their architecture makes it difficult to trace the origin of errors that are obvious to humans — like confusing a Converse high-top with an ankle boot — limiting their use in more vital work like health care image analysis or research. A new tool developed at Purdue University makes finding those errors as simple as spotting mountaintops from an airplane.   “In a sense, if a neural ...

Study finds motorist disorientation syndrome is not only caused by vestibular dysfunction

2023-11-16
Amsterdam, November 16, 2023 – A large case series aimed at understanding the factors underlying Motorist Disorientation Syndrome (MDS) has found that patients experience severe, consistent symptoms comparable to vestibular migraine. Previously there has been speculation that underlying peripheral vestibular hypofunction, when the inner ear part of the balance system is not working properly, contributes to this presentation. However, vestibular deficits were not a consistent feature in the patients studied. The findings have been published in the Journal of Vestibular Research. In ...

Rabies virus variants from marmosets are found in bats

Rabies virus variants from marmosets are found in bats
2023-11-16
Rabies virus variants closely related to variants present in White-tufted marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) have been detected in bats in Ceará state, Northeast Brazil.  Rabies is a deadly disease for humans. Its emergence in distinct wildlife species is a potential source of human infection and hence a public health concern. Marmosets are common in forests and conservation units throughout Brazil. In or near urban areas, they are often captured as pets and later abandoned. They have been linked ...

How a mutation in microglia elevates Alzheimer’s risk

How a mutation in microglia elevates Alzheimer’s risk
2023-11-16
A rare but potent genetic mutation that alters a protein in the brain’s immune cells, known as microglia, can give people as much as a three-fold greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. A new study by researchers in The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT details how the mutation undermines microglia function, explaining how it seems to generate that higher risk. “This TREM2 R47H/+ mutation is a pretty important risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease,” said study lead author Jay Penney, a former postdoc in the MIT lab of Picower Professor Li-Huei ...

International team uses Insilico Medicine’s AI platform to find dual targets for aging and cancer

International team uses Insilico Medicine’s AI platform to find dual targets for aging and cancer
2023-11-16
An international research team is the first to use artificial intelligence (AI) analysis to identify dual-purpose target candidates for the treatment of cancer and aging, the most promising of which was experimentally validated. The findings were published in the journal Aging Cell.  Researchers from the University of Oslo, University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, and clinical stage AI-driven drug discovery company Insilico Medicine used Insilico’s AI target discovery engine, PandaOmics, to analyze transcriptomic data derived from ...

New therapeutic strategy to reduce neuronal death in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

New therapeutic strategy to reduce neuronal death in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
2023-11-16
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease that affects neurons in the brain and spinal cord causing loss of muscle control. A study by the University of Barcelona has designed a potential therapeutic strategy to tackle this pathology that has no treatment to date. It is a molecular trap that prevents one of the most common genetic ALS-causing peptide compounds, the Poly-GR dipeptide, from causing its toxic effects in the body. The results show that this strategy reduces the death of neurons in patients and in an animal model (vinegar flies) of the disease.   The first authors of this international research study published in the journal Science Advances are ...

Breakthrough in bladder cancer research

2023-11-16
After 40 years of treating metastatic bladder cancer with chemotherapy as a primary treatment, scientists now present a new approach using immunotherapy combinations. The results of not just one, but two studies have been presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) conference in Madrid. The outcomes of these studies are going to revolutionize the landscape of bladder cancer treatment. Traditionally, cisplatin-based chemotherapy has been the standard treatment for bladder cancer patients who are able to tolerate this drug. However, responses have been limited, and durable outcomes rare. Over the past years, two phase-3 clinical trials studied the effects ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

The research was wrong: study shows moderate drinking won’t lengthen your life

Save your data on printable magnetic devices? New laser technique’s twist might make this reality

Early onset dementia more common than previously reported – the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease seems to be on the rise

Pesticides potentially as bad as smoking for increased risk in certain cancers

NUS researchers develop new battery-free technology to power electronic devices using ambient radiofrequency signals

New protein discovery may influence future cancer treatment

Timing matters: Scripps Research study shows ways to improve health alerts

New gene therapy approach shows promise for Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Chemical analyses find hidden elements from renaissance astronomer Tycho Brahe’s alchemy laboratory

Pacific Northwest launches clean hydrogen energy hub

Tiny deletion in heart muscle protein briefly affects embryonic ventricles but has long-term effects on adult atrial fibrillation

Harms of prescribing NSAIDs to high risk groups estimated to cost NHS £31m over 10 years

Wearing a face mask in public spaces cuts risk of common respiratory symptoms, suggests Norway study

Some private biobanks overinflating the value of umbilical cord blood banking in marketing to expectant parents

New research in fatty liver disease aims to help with early intervention

Genetics reveal ancient trade routes and path to domestication of the Four Corners potato

SNIS 2024: New study shows critical improvements in treating rare eye cancer in children

Wearable devices can increase health anxiety. Could they adversely affect health?

Addressing wounds of war

Rice researchers develop innovative battery recycling method

It’s got praying mantis eyes

Stroke recovery: It’s in the genes

Foam fluidics showcase Rice lab’s creative approach to circuit design

Montana State scientists publish evidence for new groups of methane-producing organisms

Daily rhythms depend on receptor density in biological clock

New England Journal of Medicine publishes outcomes from practice-changing E1910 trial for patients with BCR::ABL1-negative B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Older adults want to cut back on medication, but study shows need for caution

Nationwide flood models poorly capture risks to households and properties

Does your body composition affect your risk of dementia or Parkinson’s?

Researchers discover faster, more energy-efficient way to manufacture an industrially important chemical

[Press-News.org] Epidemic-economic model provides answers to key pandemic policy questions
Is lockdown an effective response to a pandemic, or would it be better to let individuals spontaneously reduce their risk of infection? These two highly-debated options lead to similar outcomes