Assessing the risk of international spread of yellow fever virus: a mathematical analysis of an urban outbreak in Asuncion, 2008.


Yellow fever virus (YFV), a mosquito-borne virus endemic to tropical Africa and South America, is capable of causing large urban outbreaks of human disease. With the ease of international travel, urban outbreaks could lead to the rapid spread and subsequent transmission of YFV in distant locations. We designed a stochastic metapopulation model with spatiotemporally explicit transmissibility scenarios to simulate the global spread of YFV from a single urban outbreak by infected airline travelers. In simulations of a 2008 outbreak in Asunción, Paraguay, local outbreaks occurred in 12.8% of simulations and international spread in 2.0%. Using simple probabilistic models, we found that local incidence, travel rates, and basic transmission parameters are sufficient to assess the probability of introduction and autochthonous transmission events. These models could be used to assess the risk of YFV spread during an urban outbreak and identify locations at risk for YFV introduction and subsequent autochthonous transmission.

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