UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Renaissance model of an epidemic with quarantine


Dobay, Akos; Gall, Gabriella E C; Rankin, Daniel J; Bagheri, Homayoun C (2013). Renaissance model of an epidemic with quarantine. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 317:348-358.

Abstract

Quarantine is one possible solution to limit the propagation of an emerging infectious disease. Typically, infected individuals are removed from the population by avoiding physical contact with healthy individuals. A key factor for the success of a quarantine strategy is the carrying capacity of the facility. This is often a known parameter, while other parameters such as those defining the population structure are more difficult to assess. Here we develop a model where we explicitly introduce the carrying capacity of the quarantine facility into a susceptible-infected-recovered (SIR) framework. We show how the model can address the propagation and control of contact and sexually transmitted infections. We illustrate this by a case study of the city of Zurich during the 16th century, when it had to face an epidemic of syphilis. After Swiss mercenaries came back from a war in Naples in 1495, the authorities of the city addressed subsequent epidemics by, among others, placing infected members of the population in quarantine. Our results suggest that a modestly sized quarantine facility can successfully prevent or reduce an epidemic. However, false detection can present a real impediment for this solution. Indiscriminate quarantine of individuals can lead to the overfilling of the facility, and prevent the intake of infected individuals. This results in the failure of the quarantine policy. Hence, improving the rate of true over false detection becomes the key factor for quarantine strategies. Moreover, in the case of sexually transmitted infections, asymmetries in the male to female ratio, and the force of infection pertaining to each sex and class of sexual encounter can alter the effectiveness of quarantine measures. For example, a heterosexually transmitted disease that mainly affects one sex is harder to control in a population with more individuals of the opposite sex. Hence an imbalance in the sex ratios as seen in situations such as mining colonies, or populations at war, can present impediments for the success of quarantine policies.

Quarantine is one possible solution to limit the propagation of an emerging infectious disease. Typically, infected individuals are removed from the population by avoiding physical contact with healthy individuals. A key factor for the success of a quarantine strategy is the carrying capacity of the facility. This is often a known parameter, while other parameters such as those defining the population structure are more difficult to assess. Here we develop a model where we explicitly introduce the carrying capacity of the quarantine facility into a susceptible-infected-recovered (SIR) framework. We show how the model can address the propagation and control of contact and sexually transmitted infections. We illustrate this by a case study of the city of Zurich during the 16th century, when it had to face an epidemic of syphilis. After Swiss mercenaries came back from a war in Naples in 1495, the authorities of the city addressed subsequent epidemics by, among others, placing infected members of the population in quarantine. Our results suggest that a modestly sized quarantine facility can successfully prevent or reduce an epidemic. However, false detection can present a real impediment for this solution. Indiscriminate quarantine of individuals can lead to the overfilling of the facility, and prevent the intake of infected individuals. This results in the failure of the quarantine policy. Hence, improving the rate of true over false detection becomes the key factor for quarantine strategies. Moreover, in the case of sexually transmitted infections, asymmetries in the male to female ratio, and the force of infection pertaining to each sex and class of sexual encounter can alter the effectiveness of quarantine measures. For example, a heterosexually transmitted disease that mainly affects one sex is harder to control in a population with more individuals of the opposite sex. Hence an imbalance in the sex ratios as seen in situations such as mining colonies, or populations at war, can present impediments for the success of quarantine policies.

Altmetrics

Downloads

47 downloads since deposited on 19 Apr 2013
8 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:21 January 2013
Deposited On:19 Apr 2013 13:45
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:45
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0022-5193
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtbi.2012.10.002
PubMed ID:23084998
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-77625

Download

[img]
Preview
Content: Accepted Version
Filetype: PDF
Size: 3MB
View at publisher

TrendTerms

TrendTerms displays relevant terms of the abstract of this publication and related documents on a map. The terms and their relations were extracted from ZORA using word statistics. Their timelines are taken from ZORA as well. The bubble size of a term is proportional to the number of documents where the term occurs. Red, orange, yellow and green colors are used for terms that occur in the current document; red indicates high interlinkedness of a term with other terms, orange, yellow and green decreasing interlinkedness. Blue is used for terms that have a relation with the terms in this document, but occur in other documents.
You can navigate and zoom the map. Mouse-hovering a term displays its timeline, clicking it yields the associated documents.

Author Collaborations