Title: Spatial dynamics of airborne infectious diseases
Citation: JOURNAL OF THEORETICAL BIOLOGY vol. 297 p. 116-126
Publication Year: 2012
JRC N°: JRC65565
ISSN: 0022-5193
URI: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022519311006321
DOI: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2011.12.015
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Recent outbreaks of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and pandemic influenza have highlighted the potential for airborne transmission in indoor environments. Respirable pathogen-carrying droplets provide a vector for the spatial spread of infection with droplet transport determined by diffusive and convective processes. An epidemiological model describing the spatial dynamics of disease transmission is presented. Artificial ventilation, as an infection control, is incorporated leading to a delay equation, with droplet density dependent on the infectious density at a previous time. It is found that small droplets (∼ 0:4m) generate a negligible infectious force due to the small viral load and the associated duration they require to transmit infection. In contrast, larger droplets (∼ 4m) can lead to an infectious wave propagating through a fully susceptible population or a secondary infection outbreak for a localised susceptible population. Droplet diffusion is found to be an inefficient mode of droplet transport leading to minimal spatial spread of infection. A threshold ventilation velocity is derived above which disease transmission is impaired even when the basic reproduction number R0 exceeds unity.
JRC Directorate:Space, Security and Migration

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