Impact of preventive responses to epidemics in rural regions.

PloS one

PubMedID: 23536851

Schumm P, Schumm W, Scoglio C. Impact of preventive responses to epidemics in rural regions. PLoS ONE. 2013;8(3):e59028.
Various epidemics have arisen in rural locations through human-animal interaction, such as the H1N1 outbreak of 2009. Through collaboration with local government officials, we have surveyed a rural county and its communities and collected a dataset characterizing the rural population. From the respondents' answers, we build a social (face-to-face) contact network. With this network, we explore the potential spread of epidemics through a Susceptible-Latent-Infected-Recovered (SLIR) disease model. We simulate an exact model of a stochastic SLIR Poisson process with disease parameters representing a typical influenza-like illness. We test vaccine distribution strategies under limited resources. We examine global and location-based distribution strategies, as a way to reach critical individuals in the rural setting. We demonstrate that locations can be identified through contact metrics for use in vaccination strategies to control contagious diseases.