UBC Undergraduate Research

A Stochastic Model for the Spread of Infectious Disease : Determining the Effectiveness of Vaccination and Quarantine in Controlling Outbreaks Dungate, Brianna; Edison, Abigail


Determining the best strategy in limiting the proliferation of deadly diseases could aid in controlling pathogen spread and decreasing fatalities during outbreaks. Quarantine and vaccination are two current strategies for containing infectious diseases. A key factor impacting the effectiveness of quarantine and vaccination is the method of transmission. In this study a stochastic model for airborne and bloodborne diseases was built to investigate the effects of movement within a population (quarantine) and preimmunity (vaccination) on outbreaks of the ebola virus (EBOV) and the coronavirus SARS-CoV, which causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Quarantine and preventing contact with bodily fluids is expected to prevent the spread of bloodborne diseases more effectively than air-borne; immunization is expected to decrease infection rates in both classes of disease. Analysis of these models shows that variables mimicking quarantine had a significant effect on preventing the spread of EBOV and a limited effect on SARS. Increasing preimmunity is shown to be highly effective in preventing the spread of both SARS and ebola, and consequently it is the recommended method of outbreak control.

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