Integrating Prediction and Forecasting Models for Decision-Making: Dengue Epidemic Prediction

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Monday, September 15, 2014

IC3 researcher Dr Rachel Lowe has been invited to participate in the upcoming workshop “Integrating Prediction and Forecasting Models for Decision-Making: Dengue Epidemic Prediction”, convened by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), which will be held 15 September 2014 in Washington DC.  The workshop is the second in a series convened by OSTP in support of the Predict the Next Pandemic (PtNP) Initiative. The Initiative was launched by Dr. John Holdren, President Obama’s Science and Technology Advisor, at the Data to Knowledge to Action event held in November 2013. Since then, OSTP established the new federal Pandemic Prediction and Forecasting Science and Technology Working Group to advance specific prediction and forecasting priorities in support of the PtNP initiative.


The overarching objective of this infectious disease prediction and forecasting pilot project is to advance disease models which will one day provide federal decision makers with actionable information on dengue epidemics. These epidemics directly impact the health of local populations, strain healthcare systems, and cause substantial economic loss. They also impact other areas as more travellers are likely to be affected and there is a greater probability of spread. Despite their importance, prediction of these epidemics is very challenging, with many factors potentially playing a role.


“Outcomes of the workshop will help to strengthen the activities of Climate Services for Health initiative at IC3 by bringing our science closer to decision maker needs”, says Dr. Lowe.

Previously this year, both lead author Rachel Lowe and senior author Xavier Rodó published a pioneering study in the Lancet Infectious Diseases (Lowe et al., 2014) that, for the first time, developed a prediction system for dengue epidemics in the 558 microregions of Brazil, driven by real time seasonal climate forecasts. The new early warning system proved successful in anticipating dengue epidemics in previous years and was cited as one of the five most impressive innovations of the World Cup in Brazil by the BBVA OpenMind (


Dr Rachel Lowe, Catalan Institute of Climate Sciences, Barcelona, Spain.

Tel: +34 93 567 99 77 Email:


For more details, visit the White House Office for Science and Technology Policy webpage: