Mehl, Christopher H. and Craig J. Johns (2003), A Spatial Model for Chronic Wasting Disease in Rocky Mountain Mule Deer, Computing Science and Statistics, 35, I2003Proceedings/MehlChristopher/MehlChristopher.paper.pdf
Chronic wasting disease (CWD) causes damage to portions of the brain and nervous systems in deer and elk. The disease has been spreading rapidly throughout the Rocky Mountain Region and its economic and biological impacts have made this problem both scientifically and socially important. Previous efforts for modeling the spread of the disease have focused on simulating stochastic individual interactions between deer using standard epidemic models. We propose a hierarchical Bayesian model that captures the spatial and temporal components of the disease spread and incorporates multiple data types. Critical to our model are differential equations used to represent disease dynamics, the hierarchy which aggregates the individual interactions in both space and time, and the Bayesian formulation which naturally incorporates available data to estimate parameters in the model. The Bayesian formulation makes prediction into the future possible, which is a useful addition to disease management efforts.