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A Model for the Spread of Infectious Diseases in a Region.

Abstract

In understanding the dynamics of the spread of an infectious disease, it is important to understand how a town's place in a network of towns within a region will impact how the disease spreads to that town and from that town. In this article, we take a model for the spread of an infectious disease in a single town and scale it up to simulate a region containing multiple towns. The model is validated by looking at how adding additional towns and commuters influences the outbreak in a single town. We then look at how the centrality of a town within a network influences the outbreak. Our main finding is that the commuters coming into a town have a greater effect on whether an outbreak will spread to a town than the commuters going out. The findings on centrality of a town and how it influences an outbreak could potentially be used to help influence future policy and intervention strategies such as school closure policies.

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