Interim Report

Team Number: 049
School Name: DEL NORTE
Area of Science: BIOLOGY
Project Title: HANTAVIRUS
Project Abstract: http://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/97.98/abstracts/049.html
Interim Report: http://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/97.98/interims/049.html
Final Report: http://mode.lanl.k12.nm.us/97.98/finalreports/049/finalreport.html


Hantaviruses that cause HPS are carried by rodents, especially the deer mouse. You can become infected by exposure to their droppings, and the flu-like first signs of sickness (especially breathing difficulty) appear one-to-two weeks later. Prevention is the best strategy, and it simply means taking some very practical steps to minimize your contact with rodents. HPS is not contagious from person-to-person in the United States. As of June 1994, 80 cases of HPS have been confirmed in 19 states. These states encompass the western half of the United States and most recently the eastern United States as well. Rodents are the primary reservoir host of the recognized hantaviruses. Each hantavirus appears to have a preferred rodent host, but other small mammals can be infected as well. Available data strongly suggests that the common deer mouse is the primary reservoir of the hantavirus seen in the southwestern United States. Serologic evidence of infection has also been found in pinon mice, brush mice and western chipmunks. The deer mouse is highly adaptable and is found in different habitats, including human residences in rural and semirural areas, but generally not in urban centers. HPS cases have also occurred in areas not known to harbor the deer mouse, suggesting that other rodent hosts may also be involved.

From the information of the number of deaths and the temperature data we want to answer the question that the increased amount of rainfall in New Mexico, which occurred in 1993 caused the population of Deer Mice to be increased, which in turn caused more people to catch hantavirus.

RAINFALL DATA: Right now we have rainfall precipitation data from 1990 to 1996. These numbers are averages from New Mexico's precipitation. We have averaged the numbers, but we still need to find charts showing the temperatures in the whole US Therefore, our temperature data is still scarce, and we will be working on contacting someone who can help us develop a conclusion on perception.

VICTIM DATA: We have maps showing the amount of victims that have died of hantavirus in each state. By comparing the temperatures, and type of precipitation in these areas we will be able to see if the rainfall had an effect to the increase in Deer Mice population. Right now we are trying to find someone at University of New Mexico who has any hands on experience on hantavirus to confirm our data, and to see if they might give us more information.

DEER MICE DATA: The Deer Mice Data will show how many Deer Mice actually inhabit the areas, which have the most cases of deaths. Right now we have not been able achieve this information until we contact someone from University of New Mexico. We have checked on the Internet for this information. However, the designers of the hantavirus pages doesn't think that how many Deer Mice inhabit each states is significant. Therefore, we need to find someone at UNM who would have this information, or we have to eliminate our Deer Mice Data section of our project.

SOLVING THE PROBLEM USING SUPERCOMPUTING: Our program will solve our question of the rainfall data by a graphic chart. In our whole program we might have series of charts, or one big chart. This depends on the information we get. Also from our charts from the program we might be able to write a program which shows predictions where hantavirus can strike next. We would need to rely on the source of rainfall data in various states, and follow the El Nino weather conditions. In conclusion, our supercomputing program will mostly consists of a graphic charts showing rainfall data, victims, and Deer Mice Population. From that information we want to be able to have some kind of prediction on hantavirus.

RESULTS WE EXPECT TO GET: The amount of rainfall caused the population of Deer Mice to increase, which in turn caused more people to be susceptible to Hantavirus. Also on my final product I expect to put a hantavirus report, which extends my information from the first paragraph.

Include the definition of the problem, plan for solving the problem using a supercomputer, progress you have made to this time, and the results you expect to get. Run this file through the spell checker and your English teacher. Remember, this is DUE by 5pm January 13, 1998.

Team Members:

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New Mexico High School Supercomputing Challenge