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Mathematical model predicts dengue epidemic in urban areas

Mathematical model predicts dengue epidemic in urban areas
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A new mathematical model developed by three American scientists offers a simplified approach to studying the spread of dengue fever in urban areas by...

New York: A new mathematical model developed by three American scientists offers a simplified approach to studying the spread of dengue fever in urban areas by breaking down the epidemic dynamics across a city and its varying neighbourhoods and populations.

Authored by Lucas M. Stolerman, Daniel Coombs and Stefanella Boatto, the 'SIR-Network Model and its Application to Dengue Fever,' offers a useful insight into how varying neighborhood conditions affect the spread of the disease and ways to contain it.
"The SIR-Network model can be used to predict whether local interventions - like cleaning up standing water in containers - in one or two neighbourhoods could affect the prevalence of Dengue across the city," said study co-author Coombs.
"We give formulae that describe whether an epidemic is possible, in terms of human travel patterns among neighbourhoods, mosquito populations and biting rates in each neighbourhood," he added.
The model uses a Susceptible-Infected-Recovered (SIR) approach to disease spread and the network consists of the city's neighbourhoods where local populations are assumed to be well-mixed. The authors applied the SIR-Network model to Dengue fever data, which had been updated several times, including as recent as 2014, from the epidemic outbreak of 2007-2008 in various neighbourhoods of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and soon discovered several interesting features of the epidemic.
First, they needed to include a transmission rate that varied over the months of the Dengue season to match the available data. The authors predict that the transmission rate peaks 6-8 weeks before the peak incidence of Dengue.
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