Using the deadly SARS flu outbreak as a template, researchers have created a model that can predict the spread emerging global epidemics. A team of researchers in the US and Europe incorporated travel and census data from 3100 urban areas and 220 countries to figure out where a virus would travel and how fast.

The researchers also assumed that we'd be using the same disease-fighting methods we used in the SARS outbreak. This map doesn't mean that huge chunks of the world will soon be wiped out by a pandemic. It's actually, according to the researchers, a warning. They want national health organizations to be aware which areas of the world need better systems for handling viral outbreaks. That way, flu doesn't reach epidemic proportions and shoot all over the world. Of course, if governments handle the next epidemic it the way they did in 28 Weeks Later and Resident Evil: Extinction, this "help" might come in the form of nukes.

Predicting Outbreaks [BMC Medicine]