The Geographic Spread of Infectious Diseases: Models and Applications

The Geographic Spread of Infectious Diseases: Models and Applications

Lisa Sattenspiel
with contributions from Alun Lloyd
Copyright Date: 2009
Pages: 304
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  • Book Info
    The Geographic Spread of Infectious Diseases: Models and Applications
    Book Description:

    The 1918-19 influenza epidemic killed more than fifty million people worldwide. The SARS epidemic of 2002-3, by comparison, killed fewer than a thousand. The success in containing the spread of SARS was due largely to the rapid global response of public health authorities, which was aided by insights resulting from mathematical models. Models enabled authorities to better understand how the disease spread and to assess the relative effectiveness of different control strategies. In this book, Lisa Sattenspiel and Alun Lloyd provide a comprehensive introduction to mathematical models in epidemiology and show how they can be used to predict and control the geographic spread of major infectious diseases.

    Key concepts in infectious disease modeling are explained, readers are guided from simple mathematical models to more complex ones, and the strengths and weaknesses of these models are explored. The book highlights the breadth of techniques available to modelers today, such as population-based and individual-based models, and covers specific applications as well. Sattenspiel and Lloyd examine the powerful mathematical models that health authorities have developed to understand the spatial distribution and geographic spread of influenza, measles, foot-and-mouth disease, and SARS. Analytic methods geographers use to study human infectious diseases and the dynamics of epidemics are also discussed. A must-read for students, researchers, and practitioners, no other book provides such an accessible introduction to this exciting and fast-evolving field.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-3170-8
    Subjects: Health Sciences, Mathematics

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. Chapter One Introduction
    (pp. 1-11)

    In the fall and winter of 1918-19 a deadly epidemic of influenza, commonly known as the Spanish flu, erupted in Europe. Soldiers returning home at the end of World War I carried the epidemic to all parts of the world, eventually resulting in the death of at least 20-40 million people and perhaps significantly more (Crosby, 1989; Johnson and Mueller, 2002; Potter, 2001). The major epidemic was preceded by a short and less severe wave that occurred in the spring of 1918. This wave was similar in severity to other influenza epidemics and consequently was barely noticed by medical authorities...

  5. Chapter Two The Art of Epidemic Modeling: Concepts and Basic Structures
    (pp. 12-57)

    Mathematical models of the geographic spread of infectious diseases are, in almost all cases, adaptations and generalizations of models developed to explore disease transmission within a single population. Because the single-population models are much simpler in structure, and since many of the most useful results derived from epidemic models were first developed in the context of simple models, a general understanding of the important concepts is easier to grasp with single-population models. Consequently, in this chapter, we discuss the basic notions of model formulation for nonspatial models and the practical concepts and insights derived from them. These basic concepts will...

  6. Chapter Three Modeling the Geographic Spread of Influenza Epidemics
    (pp. 58-85)

    Some of the earliest models describing the geographic spread of infectious diseases were developed to understand and predict the spread of influenza epidemics, and such models continue to provide the foundation for important present-day research. Most early models for the geographic spread of influenza epidemics as well as several more recent models have approached the problem from the perspective of the population. In other words, these models assume that all individuals within a population or its subgroups can be treated equally. In recent years, however, and in response to the growing fear of a new world-wide influenza pandemic, individual-based models...

  7. Chapter Four Modeling Geographic Spread I: Population-based Approaches
    (pp. 86-116)

    As the discussion of influenza models in the previous chapter showed, the distribution of populations across space and the patterns of interaction that link groups are important influences on how infectious diseases spread across time and space. In this chapter we describe in more detail the types of population-based models that have been developed to examine these influences. The main focus of our discussion will be on elucidating the general structures that have been used and the questions these models have addressed. In general, we will not include details on the analysis of these models; rather, we will largely limit...

  8. Chapter Five Spatial Heterogeneity and Endemicity: The Case of Measles
    (pp. 117-133)

    Measles has probably been the focus of more geographically oriented modeling work than any other infectious disease and this work has a very long history. Many of the earliest measles modeling studies were stimulated by the mid-19th-century contributions of Peter Ludwig Panum, a Danish physician sent in 1846 to study an outbreak of measles on the Faroe Islands in the North Sea (see Figure 5.1). Panum's detailed 70-page report on the outbreak (Panum, 1847) is often considered to be the first rigorous epidemiological study of the transmission and spread of measles across a landscape. This remarkable report has been translated...

  9. Chapter Six Modeling Geographic Spread II: Individual-based Approaches
    (pp. 134-175)

    Epidemiologists have long had a standard procedure, contact tracing, that they have followed in trying to isolate the cause of a disease outbreak and in attempting to control the outbreak. Contact tracing involves interviewing cases of an infectious disease to determine who they may have come into contact with while infectious, finding the identified contacts and determining whether they also became infected, and, if so, attempting to identify their contacts. The process continues until the all of the new persons traced are uninfected (at least in theory) (Morris, 2004b). Both treatment (and isolation if warranted) of identified cases and implementation...

  10. Chapter Seven Spatial Models and the Control of Foot-and-Mouth Disease
    (pp. 176-190)

    In the middle of February 2001, the Official Veterinary Surgeon at a slaughterhouse in Essex, U.K., noticed that several recently slaughtered pigs were lame. This was a primary symptom suggestive of a particularly feared disease of domesticated animals, foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), that had not been reported in the country for 34 years. Suspicion was high enough that the slaughterhouse was immediately shut down and all remaining pigs were examined for the disease. Examination confirmed the presence of the disease and, although affected pigs originated from three different regions, most appeared to have been infected at the slaughterhouse itself. Further investigation...

  11. Chapter Eight Maps, Projections, and GIS: Geographers’ Approaches
    (pp. 191-214)

    When most people think of how objects, entities, or characteristics are distributed in and spread across space, they think of geography and maps. Yet much of the work of geographers on the spatial spread of infectious diseases is relatively unknown within the epidemic modeling community. Geographers have been studying the spread of infectious diseases across space for some time, however, and they have developed a number of methods for attacking this question. Many of their approaches draw primarily upon statistical analyses of spatial data rather than the development of mechanistic mathematical models, but a few investigators have used mathematical models...

  12. Chapter Nine Revisiting SARS and Looking to the Future
    (pp. 215-236)

    The vast majority of modeling studies described in the preceding pages analyzed the characteristics of past epidemics with two primary goals in mind — increasing our understanding of the specific features of the disease patterns being studied, and generating insights that could be used to help limit the spread of new outbreaks of disease. Yet except for the notable case of the 2001 U.K. foot-and-mouth epidemic, the models were not applied directly to epidemics that were ongoing at the time of the studies. And even though the foot-and-mouth disease models were developed to help with an ongoing epidemic, the disease infects...

  13. Bibliography
    (pp. 237-278)
  14. Index
    (pp. 279-286)