Thursday, July 18, 2013

1307.4628 (Sarabjeet Singh et al.)

The structure of infectious disease outbreaks across the animal-human

Sarabjeet Singh, David J. Schneider, Christopher R. Myers
Despite the enormous relevance of zoonotic infections to world- wide public health, and despite much effort in modeling individual zoonoses, a fundamental understanding of the disease dynamics and the nature of outbreaks arising in such systems is still lacking. We introduce a simple stochastic model of susceptible-infected- recovered dynamics in a coupled animal-human metapopulation, and solve analytically for several important properties of the cou- pled outbreaks. At early timescales, we solve for the probability and time of spillover, and the disease prevalence in the animal population at spillover as a function of model parameters. At long times, we characterize the distribution of outbreak sizes and the critical threshold for a large human outbreak, both of which show a strong dependence on the basic reproduction number in the animal population. The coupling of animal and human infection dynamics has several crucial implications, most importantly al- lowing for the possibility of large human outbreaks even when human-to-human transmission is subcritical.
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