Thursday, June 02, 2011

A solution to finding the E-Coli outbreak source in Germany

The current E-coli outbreak in Germany seems to stun the specialists. Maybe they ought to use other specialists! Here is my proposition, since everybody has a cell phone, including the sick foreigners, get the people at telecom companies to cooperate with the health authorities and provide a travel map of each and everyone (Germans and foreigners) who has become sick (we are talking more than 500 people now) and start some major data mining.

From afar, the problem looks like an instance of randomized group testing.


Anonymous said...

Hey with only 500 cases it does not even could as major data mining.

Igor said...

Hello Anonymous,



Dirk said...

Well that approach seems interesting. However, a first issue is that Germany and especially the Germans are peculiar with data privacy and probably there will be an outcry in the media about such an approach. A second issue: How should one interpret the outcome of such an approach. Isn't is probable that the outcome will be something like: "These people visited public restroom frequently" or "have been at Pharmacies or Doctors". In short: How to distinguish cause and effect?