6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The personal choices affecting the transmission of infectious diseases include the number of contacts an individual makes, and the risk-characteristics of those contacts. We consider whether these different choices have distinct implications for the course of an epidemic. We also consider whether choosing contact mitigation (how much to mix) and affinity mitigation (with whom to mix) strategies together has different epidemiological effects than choosing each separately. We use a set of differential equation compartmental models of the spread of disease, coupled with a model of selective mixing. We assess the consequences of varying contact or affinity mitigation as a response to disease risk. We do this by comparing disease incidence and dynamics under varying contact volume, contact type, and both combined across several different disease models. Specifically, we construct a change of variables that allows one to transition from contact mitigation to affinity mitigation, and vice versa. In the absence of asymptomatic infection we find no difference in the epidemiological impacts of the two forms of disease risk mitigation. Furthermore, since models that include both mitigation strategies are underdetermined, varying both results in no outcome that could not be reached by choosing either separately. Which strategy is actually chosen then depends not on their epidemiological consequences, but on the relative cost of reducing contact volume versus altering contact type. Although there is no fundamental epidemiological difference between the two forms of mitigation, the social cost of alternative strategies can be very different. From a social perspective, therefore, whether one strategy should be promoted over another depends on economic not epidemiological factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)262-270
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Volume363
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 21 2014

Fingerprint

risk reduction
Equivalence
Contact
disease models
disease incidence
infectious diseases
Affine transformation
Costs and Cost Analysis
Asymptomatic Infections
Infectious Disease Transmission
economics
infection
Economics
Strategy
Costs
Compartmental Model
Differential equations
Change of Variables
Infectious Diseases
Incidence

Keywords

  • Asymptomatic infection
  • Latent infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

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title = "Disease risk mitigation: The equivalence of two selective mixing strategies on aggregate contact patterns and resulting epidemic spread",
abstract = "The personal choices affecting the transmission of infectious diseases include the number of contacts an individual makes, and the risk-characteristics of those contacts. We consider whether these different choices have distinct implications for the course of an epidemic. We also consider whether choosing contact mitigation (how much to mix) and affinity mitigation (with whom to mix) strategies together has different epidemiological effects than choosing each separately. We use a set of differential equation compartmental models of the spread of disease, coupled with a model of selective mixing. We assess the consequences of varying contact or affinity mitigation as a response to disease risk. We do this by comparing disease incidence and dynamics under varying contact volume, contact type, and both combined across several different disease models. Specifically, we construct a change of variables that allows one to transition from contact mitigation to affinity mitigation, and vice versa. In the absence of asymptomatic infection we find no difference in the epidemiological impacts of the two forms of disease risk mitigation. Furthermore, since models that include both mitigation strategies are underdetermined, varying both results in no outcome that could not be reached by choosing either separately. Which strategy is actually chosen then depends not on their epidemiological consequences, but on the relative cost of reducing contact volume versus altering contact type. Although there is no fundamental epidemiological difference between the two forms of mitigation, the social cost of alternative strategies can be very different. From a social perspective, therefore, whether one strategy should be promoted over another depends on economic not epidemiological factors.",
keywords = "Asymptomatic infection, Latent infection",
author = "Morin, {Benjamin R.} and Charles Perrings and Simon Levin and Ann Kinzig",
year = "2014",
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doi = "10.1016/j.jtbi.2014.07.037",
language = "English (US)",
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T1 - Disease risk mitigation

T2 - The equivalence of two selective mixing strategies on aggregate contact patterns and resulting epidemic spread

AU - Morin, Benjamin R.

AU - Perrings, Charles

AU - Levin, Simon

AU - Kinzig, Ann

PY - 2014/12/21

Y1 - 2014/12/21

N2 - The personal choices affecting the transmission of infectious diseases include the number of contacts an individual makes, and the risk-characteristics of those contacts. We consider whether these different choices have distinct implications for the course of an epidemic. We also consider whether choosing contact mitigation (how much to mix) and affinity mitigation (with whom to mix) strategies together has different epidemiological effects than choosing each separately. We use a set of differential equation compartmental models of the spread of disease, coupled with a model of selective mixing. We assess the consequences of varying contact or affinity mitigation as a response to disease risk. We do this by comparing disease incidence and dynamics under varying contact volume, contact type, and both combined across several different disease models. Specifically, we construct a change of variables that allows one to transition from contact mitigation to affinity mitigation, and vice versa. In the absence of asymptomatic infection we find no difference in the epidemiological impacts of the two forms of disease risk mitigation. Furthermore, since models that include both mitigation strategies are underdetermined, varying both results in no outcome that could not be reached by choosing either separately. Which strategy is actually chosen then depends not on their epidemiological consequences, but on the relative cost of reducing contact volume versus altering contact type. Although there is no fundamental epidemiological difference between the two forms of mitigation, the social cost of alternative strategies can be very different. From a social perspective, therefore, whether one strategy should be promoted over another depends on economic not epidemiological factors.

AB - The personal choices affecting the transmission of infectious diseases include the number of contacts an individual makes, and the risk-characteristics of those contacts. We consider whether these different choices have distinct implications for the course of an epidemic. We also consider whether choosing contact mitigation (how much to mix) and affinity mitigation (with whom to mix) strategies together has different epidemiological effects than choosing each separately. We use a set of differential equation compartmental models of the spread of disease, coupled with a model of selective mixing. We assess the consequences of varying contact or affinity mitigation as a response to disease risk. We do this by comparing disease incidence and dynamics under varying contact volume, contact type, and both combined across several different disease models. Specifically, we construct a change of variables that allows one to transition from contact mitigation to affinity mitigation, and vice versa. In the absence of asymptomatic infection we find no difference in the epidemiological impacts of the two forms of disease risk mitigation. Furthermore, since models that include both mitigation strategies are underdetermined, varying both results in no outcome that could not be reached by choosing either separately. Which strategy is actually chosen then depends not on their epidemiological consequences, but on the relative cost of reducing contact volume versus altering contact type. Although there is no fundamental epidemiological difference between the two forms of mitigation, the social cost of alternative strategies can be very different. From a social perspective, therefore, whether one strategy should be promoted over another depends on economic not epidemiological factors.

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