Emergence of viral diseases: mathematical modeling as a tool for infection control, policy and decision making.
Mathematical modeling can be used for the development and implementation of infection control policy to combat outbreaks and epidemics of communicable viral diseases. Here an outline is provided of basic concepts and approaches used in mathematical modeling and parameterization of disease transmission. The use of mathematical models is illustrated, using the 2001 UK foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) epidemic, the 2003 global severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic, and human influenza pandemics, as examples. This provides insights in the strengths, limitations, and weaknesses of the various models, and demonstrates their potential for supporting policy and decision making.
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