The early phase of an epidemic: thresholds, duration and the effect of movement

Thursday, November 8, 2018 - 1:30pm
Wexler 206


Evan Milliken
School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences


In this talk, the notion of the early phase of an epidemic is motivated using reported case data and then given mathematical formalism. Using this formalism we discuss the threshold number of cases of the disease that represents transition from the early phase to one characterized by exponential growth in the number of cases (typically leading to a major outbreak). The early phase of the disease is approximated by a continuous-time Markov chain (CTMC) on a subset of the overall state space. We show that this can be analyzed via the fundamental matrix of the embedded discrete-time Markov chain. In this way, we calculate the duration of the early phase of the epidemic and study the effect of movement within a networked population.