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SARSA case study in emerging infections$
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Angela McLean, Robert May, John Pattison, and Robin Weiss

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780198568193

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198568193.001.0001

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Dynamics of modern epidemics

Dynamics of modern epidemics

(p.81) CHAPTER 11 Dynamics of modern epidemics

Dirk Brockmann

Lars Hufnagel

Theo Geisel

Oxford University Press

The rapid global spread of SARS demonstrated the threat that an infectious disease poses in a closely interconnected and interdependent world. This chapter introduces a novel, probabilistic model to describe the worldwide spread of a novel infectious agent. Using SARS as an example, it is shown that forecasting the geographical spread of epidemics is possible. The model describes local infection dynamics between individuals and stochastic transport across a worldwide network that accounts for both national and international civil aviation traffic. Simulations of the SARS outbreak are in good agreement with published case reports. The model can be used to predict the worldwide spread of future emerging infections. The performance of different control strategies can be compared. Simulations show that a rapid, focussed reaction is essential to inhibit the global spread of epidemics.

Keywords:   infectious agent, epidemic, global spread, infection dynamics, aviation

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