Niels G. Becker

Learn More
The effectiveness of a vaccination program depends on how the vaccinations are spread over the households of the community. Here we formulate the optimal allocation of vaccinations as a linear programming problem, when the objective is to prevent epidemics with the minimum vaccination coverage. A vaccine efficacy of less than 100%, as is usual in practice,(More)
Two epidemic threshold parameters are derived for the spread of a highly infectious disease in a community of households, where a household is any group whose members have frequent contacts with each other. It is assumed that the infection of any member of a household results in the infection of all susceptible members of that household. The threshold(More)
We estimated for Australia the number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths due to foodborne gastroenteritis in a typical year, circa 2000. The total amount of infectious gastroenteritis was measured by using a national telephone survey. The foodborne proportion was estimated from Australian data on each of 16 pathogens. To account for uncertainty, we used(More)
This study compares the seasonality of rotavirus diarrhoeal hospital admissions and its relationship to climatic factors across three Australian cities. Weekly admission of rotavirus diarrhoea (1993-2003) in children aged <5 years and weekly average temperature and relative humidity for each city were modelled using a log-linear model with a cubic trend and(More)
BACKGROUND Foodborne illness is a significant public health issue in most countries, including Australia. We examined the association between temperature and salmonellosis notifications, and compared these associations for 5 Australian cities. METHODS Log-linear models describing monthly salmonellosis notifications in terms of calendar time and monthly(More)
The response people have to vaccination varies because their immune systems differ and vaccine failures occur. Here we consider the effect that a random response, independent for each vaccinee, has on the vaccination coverage required to prevent epidemics in a large community. For a community of uniformly mixing individuals an explicit expression is found(More)
BACKGROUND The grading of radiological severity in clinical trials in tuberculosis (TB) remains unstandardised. The aim of this study was to generate and validate a numerical score for grading chest x-ray (CXR) severity and predicting response to treatment in adults with smear-positive pulmonary TB. METHODS At a TB clinic in Papua, Indonesia, serial CXRs(More)
To estimate multipliers linking surveillance of salmonellosis, campylobacteriosis, and Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infections to community incidence, we used data from a gastroenteritis survey and other sources. Multipliers for severe (bloody stool/long duration) and milder cases were estimated from the component probabilities of doctor(More)
BACKGROUND Each year in Australia, health departments investigate hundreds of gastroenteritis outbreaks. Long-term care facilities (LTCFs) for elderly persons are a common setting for these outbreaks and can result in potentially serious outcomes. METHODS We established surveillance for gastroenteritis outbreaks in 2001, and analyzed data on outbreaks(More)
BACKGROUND The time delay between the start of an influenza pandemic and its subsequent initiation in other countries is highly relevant to preparedness planning. We quantify the distribution of this random time in terms of the separate components of this delay, and assess how the delay may be extended by non-pharmaceutical interventions. METHODS AND(More)