Scott LeFevre, Mechanical Engineering
(Faculty Mentor: Dr. Sean Kramer)
Buruli Ulcers are a flesh eating disease found in several regions of the world. The ulcer is thought to spread by contact with water containing Heteroptera bugs. A multi-component model was built to describe the disease in a population with parameters for Benin, an endemic region. The parameters are designed to allow epidemic and non-epidemic behavior. The most sensitive parameter is the biting rate of Heteroptera bugs. If the biting rate can be decreased, the model predicts that the disease spread will be stopped. Methods to decrease contact with bugs may be more cost-effective than antibiotics.