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A symbolic investigation of superspreaders

McCaig, Chris and Begon, M. and Shankland, C. and Norman, R. (2011) A symbolic investigation of superspreaders. Bulletin of Mathematical Biology, 73 (4). pp. 777-794. ISSN 0092-8240

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Abstract

Superspreaders are an important phenomenon in the spread of infectious disease, accounting for a higher than average number of new infections in the population. We use mathematical models to compare the impact of supershedders and supercontacters on population dynamics. The stochastic, individual based models are investigated by conversion to deterministic, population level Mean Field Equations, using process algebra. The mean emergent population dynamics of the models are shown to be equivalent with and without superspreaders; however, simulations confirm expectations of differences in variability, having implications for individual epidemics.