Anthrax Sampling and an Investigative Database / Design-Based Adaptive Sampling for Site Decontamination

August 6, 2003 - 12:00pm
Bldg. 90
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This was a Double seminar - two speakers, two separate topics. Karl Sieber's presentation: "Anthrax Sampling and an Investigative Database": A database of anthrax environmental samples collected during outreak investigations of postal facilities and Federal offices at 6 different geographical locations between October and December 2001 has been developed. This information was compiled because of the lack of a systematic approach to data collection and lack of standardized reporting systems in place at the time of the investigations. Approximately 9,500 samples were collected, by over 100 individual investigators representing local, state, and Federal agencies. Multiple sampling techniques and laboratory testing were used. The database is useful to characterize environmental sampling procedures and appropriate laboratory tests. Some examples of the use of this database are to determine the proportion of positive samples obtained by sampling location to give guidance on locations best suited to sampling, and to compare results from the various laboratory tests used during the investigations. Proportions of positive samples varied from 47% at mail sorter locations in postal processing and distribution facilities to 4% from office furnishings in offices. Sensitivity and specificity of tests varied between 0.86 and 1.0 (sensitivity) and 0.69 and 0.98 (specificity). Other possible analyses using the database include comparisons of environmental sampling techniques and its use in risk assessment. Myron Katzoff presentation: "Design-Based Adaptive Sampling for Site Decontamination": Abstract: We consider the application of finite-population design-based sampling procedures in a spatial context to decontamination of a site where there is a significant public health risk of anthrax exposure. Through computer simulation, we study the properties of adaptive sampling procedures employed in the search of a bounded three-dimensional space that serves as the model of the site. For a finite set of designs, we compare the operational efficiency of procedures, as measured by percent of contamination eliminated, and examine the variation in coverage proportions with choices of initial sample selection parameters, cloud-density and design complexity. For more information about this seminar, please contact: Jeiwon Deputy(510) 486-7863

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