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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(3), 253; doi:10.3390/ijerph13030253

Modeling Heterogeneity in Direct Infectious Disease Transmission in a Compartmental Model

State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental Information System, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
Key Laboratory of Surveillance and Early-Warning on Infectious Disease, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing 102206, China
Jiangsu Center for Collaborative Innovation in Geographical Information Resource Development and Application, Nanjing 210023, China
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research/Visiting Scientist Programs, 3090 Center Green Drive, Boulder, CO 80301, USA
State Key Laboratory of Management and Control for Complex Systems, Institute of Automation, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing 100190, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Igor Burstyn and Gheorghe Luta
Received: 7 June 2015 / Revised: 13 February 2016 / Accepted: 16 February 2016 / Published: 24 February 2016
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Mathematical models have been used to understand the transmission dynamics of infectious diseases and to assess the impact of intervention strategies. Traditional mathematical models usually assume a homogeneous mixing in the population, which is rarely the case in reality. Here, we construct a new transmission function by using as the probability density function a negative binomial distribution, and we develop a compartmental model using it to model the heterogeneity of contact rates in the population. We explore the transmission dynamics of the developed model using numerical simulations with different parameter settings, which characterize different levels of heterogeneity. The results show that when the reproductive number, R0, is larger than one, a low level of heterogeneity results in dynamics similar to those predicted by the homogeneous mixing model. As the level of heterogeneity increases, the dynamics become more different. As a test case, we calibrated the model with the case incidence data for severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in Beijing in 2003, and the estimated parameters demonstrated the effectiveness of the control measures taken during that period. View Full-Text
Keywords: infectious diseases; mathematical models; homogeneous mixing; heterogeneity; negative binomial distribution infectious diseases; mathematical models; homogeneous mixing; heterogeneity; negative binomial distribution

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Kong, L.; Wang, J.; Han, W.; Cao, Z. Modeling Heterogeneity in Direct Infectious Disease Transmission in a Compartmental Model. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 253.

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