Geographic Spread and Control of Epidemics

The geographic spread of epidemics is less well understood and much less well studied than the temporal development and control of diseases and epidemics. The usefulness of realistic models for the geotemporal development of epidemics be they infectious disease, drug abuse fads or rumours or misinformation, is clear. The key question is how to include and quantify spatial effects. In this chapter we describe a diffusion model for the geographic spread of a general epidemic which we then apply to a well-known historical epidemic, namely, the ever fascinating mediaeval Black Death of 1347-50. We then discuss practical models for the current rabies epidemic which has been sweeping through continental Europe and is now approaching the north coast of France. These types of models, of course, are not restricted to one disease.

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