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A Study of Gravity-Linked Metapopulation Models for the Spatial Spread of Dengue Fever

Metapopulation (multipatch) models are widely used to study the patterns of spatial spread of epidemics. In this paper we study the impact of inter-patch connection weights on the predictions of these models. We contrast arbitrary, uniform link weights with link weights predicted using a gravity model based on patch populations and distance. In a synthetic system with one large driver city and many small follower cities, we show that under uniform link weights, epidemics in the follower regions are perfectly synchronized. In contrast, gravity-based links allow a more realistic, less synchronized distribution of epidemic peaks in the follower regions. We then fit a three-patch metapopulation model to regional dengue fever data from Peru - a country experiencing yearly, spatially defined epidemics. We use data for 2002-2008 (studying the seasonal disease patterns in the country and the yearly reinfection patterns from jungle to the coast) and 2000-2001 (one large epidemic of a new disease strain across the country). We present numerical results.

Article Number:
MTBI-10-08M

Year:
2013

Authors:
Marta Sarzynska- University of Oxford
Oyita Udiani- Arizona State University
Na Zhang - Arizona State University

 a_study_of_gravity-linked_metapopulation_models_for_the_spatial_spread_of_dengue_fever_.pdf