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Mathematical models of transmission and control of infectious agents 

Mathematical models of transmission and control of infectious agents
Chapter:
Mathematical models of transmission and control of infectious agents
Author(s):

Alex Welte

, Brian Williams

, and Gavin Hitchcock

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199661756.003.0121
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date: 19 September 2019

Mathematical models of transmission and control of infectious agentsPlease provide a concise abstract for the chapter. It should be no more than 250 words.This chapter explores the nature and role of infectious disease modelling, noting historical highlights and outlining current developments and applications to policy decision-making. Mathematical modelling involves the abstraction of systems into carefully selected essential features. Thus, complex real world population dynamics and infection transmission dynamics may be usefully captured in relatively simpler model worlds. Crucial aspects of diseases and policy interventions can then be systematically controlled in model scenarios. This enhances interpretation of epidemiological data, exploration of feedback mechanisms, and ultimately policy planning and intervention evaluation. The chapter gives recent examples of the relevance of modelling in determining optimal responses to public health challenges and guiding resource allocation. Core concepts, and classes of mathematical models, are outlined. Technical details are exposed in some simple foundational models which cut across many quantitative disciplines, demonstrating the central role of rates and scales. In the current era, challenges posed by the HIV/AIDS epidemic have triggered a closer engagement with modelling in public health discourse. Modelling is increasingly seen as a useful approach to synthesising data and concepts across traditionally distinct disciplines such as clinical, social, and laboratory science.

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