Publications associated with Condensed Matter Theory

Stochastic effects on the dynamics of an epidemic due to population subdivision.

Chaos (Woodbury, N.Y.) 30 (2020) 101102-

P Bittihn, R Golestanian

Using a stochastic susceptible-infected-removed meta-population model of disease transmission, we present analytical calculations and numerical simulations dissecting the interplay between stochasticity and the division of a population into mutually independent sub-populations. We show that subdivision activates two stochastic effects-extinction and desynchronization-diminishing the overall impact of the outbreak even when the total population has already left the stochastic regime and the basic reproduction number is not altered by the subdivision. Both effects are quantitatively captured by our theoretical estimates, allowing us to determine their individual contributions to the observed reduction of the peak of the epidemic.

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