# Mathematical Digest

### Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics

in the Popular Press

"Researchers Building Math Model of SARS," by David Brown. *The Washington Post,* 16 April2003, page A16.

The British scientists who helped stop the foot-and-mouth epidemic in theUnited Kingdom are studying the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)outbreak to determine the most effective method of control. Brown explains thesignificant factors in any model of the spread of a disease, especially the*basic reproductive rate:* the number of new infections per infectedperson. Although SARS originated in China's Guangdong province, the best datais coming from Hong Kong and Canada, and it is that data that the researchersare using for their models.

*--- Mike Breen*