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An event-based model of superspreading in epidemics

James, A., Pitchford, J.W. and Plank, M.J. (2007) An event-based model of superspreading in epidemics. Proceedings of the Royal Society Series B, 274 (1610). pp. 741-747. ISSN 0962-8452

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Many recent disease outbreaks (e.g. SARS, foot-and-mouth disease) exhibit superspreading, where relatively few individuals cause a large number of secondary cases. Epidemic models have previously treated this as a demographic phenomenon where each individual has an infectivity allocated at random from some distribution. Here, it is shown that superspreading can also be regarded as being caused by environmental variability, where superspreading events (SSEs) occur as a stochastic consequence of the complex network of interactions made by individuals. This interpretation based on SSEs is compared with data and its efficacy in evaluating epidemic control strategies is discussed.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of York
Academic Units: The University of York > Biology (York)
Depositing User: York RAE Import
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2009 09:48
Last Modified: 18 Feb 2009 09:48
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2006.0219
Status: Published
Publisher: Royal Society, The
Identification Number: 10.1098/rspb.2006.0219
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/7385

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